Anybody that was expecting a low-scoring affair this afternoon between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers would have been taken back by the 16 combined runs scored in today's game. In a game that saw 24 total hits from both teams, three home runs from the Sox, and four errors committed by the Tigers, the Sox dropped today's series opener, and have lost two in a row.
Iván Nova recorded the loss today. The righthander looked OK through six innings, before allowing things to slip out of hand for him in the sixth and seventh.
Nova was able to get out of the first inning without surrendering a run, before allowing the Tigers to jump ahead of the Sox with one run in the second. After striking out two in the first, and starting the second inning with two ground outs, the former Yankee allowed allowed an infield-single to Gordon Beckham. With one on and two out, Grayson Greiner knocked in his first RBI of the day by doubling to left field, scoring Beckham from first and putting the Tigers on the board.
Nova retired six of the next seven batters he faced, until with two outs and nobody on in the fourth Beckham knocked his second hit of the game into left, and stole second. Greiner also notched his second hit of the game, scoring Beckham from second and increasing the Tigers lead to 2-0.
The White Sox would finally get on the board in the top of the fifth inning. Up to that point, the Sox had been held to only one hit (a Ryan Cordell single in the third). But the bats would come alive for the second half of the game, with nine of 10 hits coming in the fifth inning or later.
Following an Eloy Jiménez strikeout, Tim Anderson jump-started the offense by taking an 0-2 cutter way out of the zone and tapping it to right field. Anderson moved to third base after Welington Castillo slapped a single to right field, and scored on a Yolmer Sánchez single, scoring the team’s first run and shrinking the gap to 2-1.
The Sox left two stranded to end the fifth, before really coming alive (with some help from the Tigers defense) and taking the lead in the sixth. To get things started, Yonder Alonso got to first base thanks to a Niko Goodrum error, and then Jiménez made sure the Tigers paid for that error by sending an 88 mph, 3-1 fastball out to right-center for his third homer of the season, giving the Sox the lead, 3-2.
The Sox would score one more run before closing out the fifth, and again, it was thanks in part to poor defense by Detroit. This time, the error came from former White Sox second baseman Beckham. Following Anderson’s second single in the game, the speedy shortstop stole second base and advanced to third on a bad throw to second from Griener. TA later scored after Beckham’s error on a Castillo grounder that should have ended the inning. Instead, the White Sox increased their lead to 4-2.
That lead would not last for long, however, as the Tigers were able to even things up in the bottom of the inning. After singles from Niko Goodrum and Jeimer Candelario, Nova threw a wild pitch past Castillo, scoring Goodrum from third and advancing Candelario to second. Candelario scored the second and final run of the inning for the Tigers when Dustin Peterson got caught trying to stretch a single into a double, tying the ballgame, 4-4.
The game was only tied for a matter of minutes, and the game would see eight more runs scored in the final two-and-a-half innings. Fresh from Charlotte, Ryan Cordell got the callup to replace the struggling Daniel Palka, and Cordell did not let the opportunity pass by. After recording the first White Sox hit in the top of the third, Cordell broke the tie in the top of seventh by recording his second home run of the season (in only 10 at-bats!), once again giving the Sox the lead, 5-4.
The game saw its final lead change in the bottom of the seventh, as the Tigers added three runs. Still in the game after allowing four runs on 10 hits, Nova started the bottom of the seventh by hitting JaCoby Jones, who would then score off of a double from Nick Castellanos to tie the game, 5-5 . That double would be the last of Nova for the day, and the righthander ended with a horrific line of 6 1⁄3 IP, 11 H, 6 ER with no walks and three K’s.
Kelvin Herrera was called upon to get the Sox out of the inning with one out and Goodrum on second. Herrera would allow Detroit to take the lead off of the first pitch he threw, a 94 mph fastball at the top of the zone than Miguel Cabrera ripped to center field, giving the Tigers the lead yet again, 6-5.
Following the RBI single from Cabrera, Herrera allowed Goodrum to double, before intentionally walking Candelario and leaving the bases loaded for Dustin Peterson. The righthander did get Peterson to hit a sharp grounder to Anderson, but the Sox were not able to get the double play, allowing Cabrera to score from third and pushing the Tigers lead to 7-5.
Ricky's Boys would even things up once again in the top of the eighth. Leading off, Alonso doubled to left, and was sent home with Castillo's second home run of the season. Afterwards, Castillo seemed more mad than pleased following his homer, but hey, to each his own.
As it was for the game up to this point, Detroit would not allow the game to be tied for all that long. Carson Fulmer came on in relief, and basically handed the Tigers the game. Starting the inning off with a single from Greiner, and two consecutive hit-by-pitches, Fulmer found himself quickly in a no-outs, bases-loaded situation with a tie ballgame. As far as damage control goes, the righthander did get out of the situation allowing only two runs. After back-to-back sac-flies from Castellanos and Cabrera, Fulmer struck out Goodrum and escaped the inning with the Sox only trailing by two runs.
The Sox never really put too much pressure on Detroit to end the game. Abreu and Alonso both went out before Jiménez walked, bringing Anderson to the plate. Representing the tying run at the plate with two outs, Anderson popped up the first pitch he saw, ending the game, and giving the Sox their second loss in as many games.
Game two of the four-game series starts tomorrow at 6:10pm CST, and will feature White Sox ace Carlos Rodón taking on Jordan Zimmerman. Ali White has the game coverage.