Tigers can’t hold early lead, fall to White Sox
Chicago — The Tigers offense was reduced to one loud inning Wednesday night — and it wasn’t quite loud enough.
The White Sox broke open a 3-3 tie with runs in the seventh and eighth innings to beat the Tigers and take the three-game series, 5-3.
Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey was tasked with getting one batter out in the top of the seventh. Left-handed hitting Adam Eaton, a major menace this series, was on deck and lefty Blaine Hardy was ready.
But that one batter, Tim Anderson, singled up the middle — his third hit of the game.
BOX SCORE: White Sox 5, Tigers 3
Hardy came on and foiled the strategy anyway. Eaton slammed a ground rule double to left-center. Cameron Maybin made a valiant dive for it but it bounced into the stands.
Hardy walked Jose Abreu intentionally to load the bases and set up a force play, then struck out Melky Cabrera on three pitches.
Anibal Sanchez was summoned. Todd Frazier lifted a fly ball to right-center, plenty deep enough to score Anderson.
The White Sox bought an insurance run off Buck Farmer in the eighth on an RBI triple by J.B. Shuck.
Chicago starter Chris Sale essentially gave the Tigers one window of opportunity to beat him. It was the third inning and the Tigers jumped him for three runs and five hits.
Another run was gunned down at the plate in the inning, which, given how the game ended, was costly.
James McCann led off with a ringing double down the left field line. Mike Aviles followed with a single to center. Third-base coach Dave Clark waived McCann around third, despite there being nobody out. McCann made a slow turn around third and was thrown out at the plate by Shuck.
The window remained open, however.
Jose Iglesias, who had made a brilliant defensive play in the first inning, slammed a 96-mph fastball from Sale over the fence in right field — a two-run shot. He’s hit two home runs thus far, one off Max Scherzer and the other off Sale. The home run extended his hitting streak to 13.
In the first inning, with runners on first and second, Iglesias charged a slow hopper by Jose Abreu in front of second base. In one motion, running toward first base, he gloved the ball backward to get the force at second base.
Ian Kinsler followed Iglesias’ homer with a double and scored on a single by Nick Castellanos.
The Tigers led 3-1 at the time, but Sale slammed the window shut tight soon after.
He allowed just one hit over the next four innings.
Meanwhile, the White Sox kept picking away at Pelfrey.
Frazier walked and Dioner Navarro doubled to start the fourth inning. Pelfrey did well to limit the damage to a single run — knocked in on a ground out by Brett Lawrie.
The White Sox tied it in the fifth. Anderson tripled and scored on a ground out by Adam Eaton.
The Tigers went quietly in the eighth against reliever Nate Jones. J.D. Martinez led off the ninth with a single off closer David Robertson and went to third on an infield single by Aviles.
Iglesias grounded out to end the game.