For eight innings, the Detroit Tigers dominated this game thanks to a career performance from pitcher Buck Farmer. His fastball velocity at times proved too much for the Sox hitters to handle, as Farmer pitched 6.1 IP 3 H 0 R 2 BB 11 K.
Derek Holland for the White Sox had a good pitching performance as he only allowed one run, a homer to John Hicks, over six innings. It was just that Holland to escape many jams as he allowed seven hits and walked four batters. Detroit left 25 men on base in this game but managed to do enough to help support Farmer with four runs, including a Victor Martinez in the top of the ninth.
That insurance home run was crucial at the end.
Detroit's bullpen issues are legendary, and as of late they have switched from Francisco Rodriguez to Justin Wilson, and for a good reason. The lefty before today had struck out 30 batters in just 19 innings with a 1.89 ERA.
The bottom of the ninth started with an opposite field double by Jose Abreu, his 11th of the season. During Avisail Garcia's at-bat, it appeared that he might have been hit by an inside fastball. On replay, you can see Avi tell home plate umpire Vic Carapazza that he didn't know if the ball hit him. Carapazza called it a foul ball, the Sox didn't challenge the call, and Avi would strike out to end the at-bat.
Matt Davidson came up next and lined a single to left putting runners on the corners for Tim Anderson. On breaking pitch that hung up in the zone, Anderson went right back up the middle for a RBI single, cutting the Tigers lead to three, 4-1.
Yolmer Sanchez was next, and he ripped a fastball to deep right field that was just fair by a foot and if it were hit 10 feet further would have tied the game. Both Davidson and Anderson scored, and Sanchez scooted to third for a triple. Just 90 feet away from tying the game, manager Rick Renteria made the smart call and pinched hit Kevan Smith with Todd Frazier.
Just needing to put the ball in play, Frazier failed by striking out. Leaving fate to the hands of rookie Adam Engel, who's long swing was no match for Wilson's fastball, and he also struck out to end the game. Despite the disappointing finish, Engel did collect his first hit of his major league career in the eighth with a single to left field.