The Detroit Tigers put an end to Chicago White Sox starter Lucas Giolito’s dominance in the seventh inning. A double from Wilson Ramos knotted the game, and Niko Goodrum’s two-run homer to right-center field pushed his team ahead by two runs.
It was a lead the Tigers didn’t squander.
The Tigers (8-16) snapped a five-game losing streak Tuesday with a 5-2 win over the White Sox in the series opener. Jonathan Schoop chipped in a solo home run in the eighth inning for added comfort. Relievers Jose Cisnero and Gregory Soto fired clean eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to complete the victory.
Detroit had dropped 10 of its past 11 contests and nine in a row against the White Sox.
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Ahead of the big hits from Ramos and Goodrum, rookie Akil Baddoo battled for nine pitches before he flied out to right field. The at-bat included six foul balls. Then, Ramos doubled to center field on a fastball, and Goodrum cranked a hanging slider.
Giolito was chased with two outs in the seventh inning. In his fifth start this season, Giolito allowed four runs on five hits and three walks, with seven strikeouts. He threw 78 of his 114 pitches for strikes.
Detroit takes on Chicago at 8:10 p.m. Wednesday in the second of a three-game series. Right-hander Casey Mize is set to start, opposed by lefty Carlos Rodon. On April 14, Rodon pitched a no-hitter against Cleveland.
The Tigers committed five errors through the first five innings, two of which led to runs — one each in the first and third frames. Those mistakes gave the White Sox a 2-1 lead as Giolito got settled in early on.
The four players with errors: third baseman Jeimer Candelario (two), right-hander Jose Urena, first baseman Schoop and second baseman Willi Castro.
In the first, Urena tried to pick off Adam Eaton at first base. At the same time, Tim Anderson jumped off third base, enticing Schoop to make a throw across the diamond. But Candelario missed the ball — allowing Anderson to easily score.
Two innings later, Yermin Mercedes reached on a fielder’s choice, but the throw from Candelario to Castro — attempting to turn a double play — went under Castro’s glove. Eaton scored on the mistake to push the White Sox ahead by one run.
Urena made his error in the second inning. Schoop’s came in the fourth and Castro’s came in the fifth. In the sixth, a line drive from Mercedes deflected off Candelario’s glove, but the play was ruled a single.
Another seven-inning start
For every error, Urena stepped up.
He induced four double plays — one each in the third, fourth, fifth and six innings — to keep the White Sox from adding to their one-run lead. According to the Bally Sports Detroit broadcast, the Tigers committed five errors and generated four double plays for the first time since May 19, 1948, a 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Against Urena, the White Sox went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. (They also went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position against Cisnero in the seventh inning.) He got a career-high 15 ground-ball outs, along with three groundouts and two strikeouts. The 29-year-old allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks through seven innings.
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The double plays helped Urena stay efficient through 98 pitches (57 strikes): 12 pitches in the first inning, 12 in the second, 20 in the third, 10 in the fourth, 13 in the fifth, 14 in the sixth and 17 in the seventh. He is the first Tiger with three consecutive seven-inning starts since Jordan Zimmermann in July and August 2017.
In typical Urena fashion, he didn’t generate a ton of swings and misses — only six whiffs, two each with his sinker, slider and four-seam fastball. he used 46 sinkers, 24 sliders, 14 changeups and 14 four-seamers. His fastball reached 97 mph.
Urena owns a 3.77 ERA through five starts.
A vintage moment
With two outs in the first inning, Miguel Cabrera got ahead 2-1 in the count against Giolito and hammered a 93.7 mph fastball to put the Tigers on the board. With a 110.2 mph exit velocity, Cabrera’s solo home run traveled 445 feet to left-center field.
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It was his second home run this season. The first occurred in his first at-bat on Opening Day. Between those homers, Cabrera went 3-for-30 (.100) and landed on the 10-day injured list with a left biceps strain.
With career home run No. 489, Cabrera is four homers away from tying Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 28th overall in MLB history. He finished his third game back from the injured list 2-for-4 with one RBI and one strikeout. His infield single in the sixth inning put runners on the corners with two outs, but Schoop struck out on three pitches.
Cabrera is 128 hits away from No. 3,000 and 11 home runs away from No. 500.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.