The Chicago White Sox lost against the Detroit Tigers, 6-5, as they fell short after a tight ninth inning. The Tigers took the series win, and the White Sox fell to 49-34. Luckily, Cleveland lost yet again to the Houston Astros, so Chicago’s first-place lead in the American Lead Central still sits at six games.
The South Siders threatened immediately in the first, after back-to-back singles by Tim Anderson and Gavin Sheets, but the inning was cut short as starting pitcher Matt Manning was able to get out of the jam. The Tigers started a rally early, as Akil Baddoo singled, stole second, advanced to third, and then scored on a RBI ground out by Robbie Grossman.
The real trouble started for Lucas Giolito in the bottom of the second inning, as Jeimer Candelario singled, followed by a double by Eric Haase. Daz Cameron walked to load the bases, as Harold Castro hit an RBI single to make it 2-0. With one out, Baddoo had a clutch double to score two and make it 4-0 early on. It was no question that this Tigers offense had the ability to score runs, but doing so against Giolito is fairly impressive as well.
The White Sox had a chance to get back into it in the top of the third inning as Anderson hit another single and advanced to second. José Abreu then ripped a single to right, scoring Anderson to make it 4-1.
Brian Goodwin joined the singles party, moving Abreu to third, and Leury García was able to bring a run home with a sacrifice fly to left. Andrew Vaughn singled as well, to advance Goodwin to third as the threat continued. Now at 4-2 and the Tigers not wanting to make it any closer, Manning was taken out after just 2 ⅔ innings, with seven hits and two runs. Lefty Tyler Alexander took the mound, and was able to retire Adam Eaton without any further damage.
Adam Eaton had a SportsCenter Top 10 play, with a spectacular catch in deep right center field that turned into a double play. It’s quite possible that without that catch, Eric Haase would have entered the record book with two inside-the-park home runs in two days.
Giolito struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth inning, with the exception of a single to Castro, while Alexander continued to roll through the White Sox lineup, pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth.
The damage continued in the bottom of the fifth, as Jonathan Schoop singled to lead it off, and Candelario doubled to score Schoop and make it 5-2. Haase then singled to drive in Candelario.
Kyle Funkhouser took over in the top of the sixth and pitched a scoreless inning. Giolito was replaced by José Ruiz in the bottom of the inning. Giolito went five innings with 10 hits, six earned runs, and five strikeouts. His ERA now sits at 4.20 after the outing. Ruiz was then taken out in the bottom of the seventh inning due to an injury and replaced by Codi Heuer. Later on, manager Tony La Russa reassured us that Ruiz is OK and is available tomorrow if needed.
Joe Jiménez started the top of the eighth inning for the Tigers, pitching a scoreless inning. The Tigers bullpen has looked great in their last two wins.
As the ninth inning approached, lefty Gregory Soto replaced Jiménez, with a four-run lead. Billy Hamilton led off the inning with a single, after pinch-hitting for Zack Collins. Anderson followed with another single, his third of the game. As trouble started to brew, Danny Mendick pinch-hit for Gavin Sheets, but struck out for the first out of the inning. Then, with MVPito up, he did what he does best, and hit a three-run homer to make this game a lot more uncomfortable for the Tigers, at 6-5.
Abreu is starting to look more like himself lately, as he has seven RBIs in his last four games, and 61 overall.
Yasmani Grandal started to approach the plate as a pinch-hitter, but was then stopped as Brian Goodwin took his at-bat. La Russa explained that Grandal was going to pinch-hit, but was worried about how his injury would react if he had to run the bases. He also was going to have to catch in the bottom of the ninth inning if it came down to that, so he voted for Grandal to sit this one out today.
Unfortunately Goodwin ended up striking out, so that decision may have stung some people a little harder, even though it was probably the right one. Grandal is expected to be available to play tomorrow.
García kept the game alive with a two-out walk, but after José Cisnero replaced Soto, Vaughn lined out to right field to end the game. The comeback was almost complete before falling short, but at least the team put up a fight to keep the game interesting until the very end.
This series loss did definitely take some people by surprise, but the White Sox did the best that they could with as many injuries as they have to their starting lineup.
They will get a fresh start tomorrow in Minneapolis as they take on the Minnesota Twins. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. CT, and Dylan Cease will take the mound against Bailey Ober.
On the bright side, here are your White Sox 2021 All-Stars Liam Hendriks, Carlos Rodón, and Lance Lynn!
Headed to Denver. Your 2021 White Sox All-Stars! ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/GBLe1khIrD— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 4, 2021
Aside from the loss, hopefully everyone is continuing to have a beautiful 4th of July, and we will see you tomorrow night for some more White Sox baseball!