It was a dreadful night on the South side of Chicago as the Tigers lost again to the White Sox. Not only did their defense have a complete meltdown in the fifth inning, Spencer Turnbull left the game after 56 pitches with forearm tightness.
The Tigers got on the board against Dallas Keuchel in the top of the third inning on an RBI double from Johnathan Schoop to score Robbie Grossman from first. Instead of an inning ending out after a double play, the Tigers capitalized. However, luck had not been on their side up till then. Tiger hitters had four sharply hit balls find infield gloves through the first four innings. They were clearly on Keuchel’s stuff, but they were mostly unable to find green grass with their swings.
Spencer kept the White Sox hitters largely in check through his night, the only damage coming on a Yasmani Grandal solo home run in the second inning. His upper 90’s fastball was lively, and he complimented it with a slider and changeup to keep hitters guessing and generate weak contact. However, his night was cut short due to tightness in his right forearm. The Tigers and their fans will just have to hold their breaths to see how this turns out.
Kyle Funkhouser got the hurry-up call to come in and it did not go his way. The leadoff man walked and then a groundball single up the middle and an errant throw pulled Schoop off the base at first lead to a bases-loaded, no-out jam right away. After a pop-out, noted Tiger Killer, Tim Anderson hit a groundball that got under the glove of Zach Short to score two runs. From there it got worse as Willi Castro threw wide to Eric Haase at home to try and cut down the runner, which allowed two more runs to score. Worse still, while a double play isn’t guaranteed, had Hill managed to hit the cutoff man on Anderson’s single, the runners would have been on first and second on that play and a double play would have ended the inning. Instead, an ensuing walk ended the night for Funkhouser and brought on Joe Jimenez. He too was greeted by a throwing error on a would-be inning-ending double play that pushed the score to 6-1 White Sox. His struggles with command resurfaced and…
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…and just like that the Tigers had the bases loaded in the seventh and La Russa was going to his bullpen again. Robbie Grossman greeted Even Marshall with an RBI sac fly to score Short, and then Schoop continued his torrid night with a three-run home run, his second homer of the game, to pull the Tigers back within a run. Miguel Cabrera lined a single into right and then with two outs, Haase launched a two-run homer to deep left-center to give the Tigers the lead.
But the excitement was short-lived. Rony Garcia got two outs thanks to a double play assist from Hill who threw out Jose Abreu trying to tag up and advance. And then Grandal untied the game with his second home run of the night. Neither team scored in the eighth inning so to the ninth inning it went.
Schoop led off with a walk against Garrett Crochet, and was replaced with pinch-runner Akil Baddoo. Jeimer Candelario went down on three straight strikes from Garrett Crochet , while Miggy hit a screaming gapper to left-center that Billy Hamilton outran for the second out. The Tigers then quietly ended their threat on a Niko Goodrum fly out and sent it to the bottom of the ninth.
Cisnero, pitching his second inning, just lost his command after a strong eighth inning of work. He hit Moncada and then Abreu hit a single through the right side to send Moncada to third with no one out. Yermín Mercedes hit the walk-off single to win it and send the Tigers to a gut-punch loss. Sigh, like I said, a dreadful night. Just think happy thoughts for Turnbull’s arm.