Miggy, Goodrum homers help power Tigers

Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera knew the ball was gone as soon as he connected. His first few steps toward first base were halting, and his head was lifted high as he admired the handiwork behind career home run No. 489.

His second homer of 2021 — along with an infield single in the sixth — came against a pitcher who’s plagued the Tigers over the years, and it was a most encouraging sign for a Detroit offense that has struggled mightily to plate runs over the past week.

But it was Niko Goodrum‘s career homer No. 35 that Detroit will remember about Tuesday night. Goodrum’s go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh inning off White Sox starter Lucas Giolito turned the tide for good during a 5-2 win at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Entering the series opener, Detroit had managed to hit just .223 off Giolito in nine career games. Cabrera’s first-inning homer proved the talented righty could be cracked and might have set the tone had Giolito not recovered to retire 14 of the next 15 hitters he faced.

In the meantime, five Tigers errors allowed the White Sox to take a 2-1 lead after three innings and looked to spoil what, for the most part, was a stellar performance from starter José Ureña. The right-hander worked hard to keep the ball on the ground, limiting Chicago to one earned run on seven hits across his seven frames.

And just when it seemed as though Ureña’s start would go for naught, Detroit turned up the heat on Giolito. Willi Castro walked to open the seventh, then came home on a one-out double from Wilson Ramos to tie the game at 2.

The ensuing mound visit from White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz couldn’t calm Giolito, who could do nothing but watch in dismay as Goodrum took the first pitch he saw and parked it in the visitor’s bullpen for his third home run of the season.

Jonathan Schoop rounded out Detroit’s scoring with his second homer of the season, a solo shot in the eighth that provided a little breathing room.

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