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White Sox 8, Tigers 2: Pelfrey tames Detroit

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Seven strikeouts to just one walk in five innings pitched by Mike Pelfrey.

MLB: Game Two-Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Gloomy weather in Chicago had already impacted Memorial Day Weekend plans as Game 1 of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed until tomorrow evening. Even the nightcap was threatened as it delayed the start by 80 minutes, and once the game began, a steady stream of rain greeted the players. Despite the poor weather conditions, White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey was anything but as the South Siders won, 5-2.

The two-seam fastball was Pelfrey's weapon of choice, as in the first inning he caught Alex Avila looking and struck out J.D. Martinez swinging. In the second, Tim Anderson didn't help Pelfrey as his 11th error of the season allowed Justin Upton to reach base. Nick Castellanos singled to right to put runners on the corners with no outs. After striking out Tyler Collins, John Hicks drove in Upton with a 4-3 groundout. Leading 1-0, the Tigers couldn't get the runner in from second as Pelfrey punched out Andrew Romaine.

Two strikeouts per inning trend continued for Pelfrey in the third, but the Sox offense started slowly against Tigers starter Matt Boyd. With two outs in the bottom half, Melky Cabrera reached on an infield single that followed with a sharply hit single for Jose Abreu. Todd Frazier walked to load the bases for Avisail Garcia. On a 1-0 pitch, Avi laced a double down the left field line, and thanks to a terrific slide by Frazier at home, drove in three runs to give the Sox a 3-1 lead.

It got pretty dicey in the fourth for Pelfrey after Tyler Saladino’s throwing error started the top half. Upton singled and stole second base putting Detroit in the driver’s seat with runners in scoring position and no outs. However, great throws at the plate by Matt Davidson and Jose Abreu kept Detroit from scoring any runs preserving the lead. That was enough support for Pelfrey despite giving up a home run in the fifth to Avila, cutting the lead to one. Living in the danger zone, manager Rick Renteria stuck with Pelfrey who awarded that decision getting Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez out.

In five innings of work, Pelfrey allowed only four hits, two runs (one earned), one walk, and struck out seven batters for his second win of 2017.

The second half of this game was quite satisfying offensively. Matt Davidson hit his ninth home run of the season in the sixth inning. Kevan Smith followed up with a duck snort double down the right field line and would come around to score on Melky Cabrera's single giving Chicago a 5-2 lead.

Melky had more in store in the eighth as he hit a three-run homer, his fourth of the season, to shoot off some fireworks after the clock struck midnight. Surely the neighbors enjoyed that.

Game Notes:

  • Jose Abreu is on a 13-for-28 run as he recorded three more hits tonight. His season batting average is now .300 on the season.
  • Todd Frazier walked three times tonight.
  • Avisail Garcia's three RBI give him 37 on the season, tied for second in the American League with Minnesota Twins Miguel Sano, and three behind AL Leader Nelson Cruz.
  • Tyler Saladino left today's game with back spasms. He is day-to-day. In related news, Yoan Moncada was deactivated from the disabled list. Just in case if Saladino's back keeps barking.

Record: 21-25 | Box Score | Play-by-Play | Video