Facing the possible American League Cy Young winner in Dylan Cease, the Tigers were able to find a way to complete the weekend by beating the White Sox 4-1 in Sunday’s finale. Tyler Alexander started on the mound for Detroit and threw the ball extremely well. The offense wasn’t able to get anything going for much of the game, but some late inning heroics lifted them to victory while also eliminating the White Sox from the AL Central Division hunt — you’re welcome, Cleveland.
The White Sox got on the board first. After cruising through the first three innings, Alexander got tagged for a home run by Yoan Moncada to lead off the fourth inning. The damage could’ve been much worse if it weren’t for Riley Greene doing his best Superman impression. With no outs and AJ Pollock on first base, Andrew Vaughn sent a long drive deep to left-center field. Adding to his ever-expanding reel of highlight plays in the outfield, Greene scaled the wall to rob Vaughn of a home run.
With that assistance, Alexander pitched around the damage and escaped the inning having allowed only a run. He finished the day with Moncada’s home run being the only run allowed while tallying five strikeouts in six innings.
Dylan Cease had the Tigers off balance for the most part, but was not at his most dominant as he only struck out five while walking three. Cease threw six innings of shut out ball, and the Tigers were obviously grateful to get into the bullpen. In the seventh, Ryan Kreidler led off with a single against the first reliever of the game Reynaldo Lopez. Victor Reyes followed with a double. Although Reyes was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play, Kreidler was able to score and tie the game 1-1.
The Tigers lineup finally seized control in the eighth inning against Kendall Graveman. A Harold Castro single started the inning off, and a one-out single from Kerry Carpenter put runners on the corners. A single from Jonathan Schoop gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead, and then Jeimer Candelario followed up with an RBI single of his own. After a wild pitch from Graveman led to another run, the Tigers found themselves up 4-1.
The bullpen picked up where Tyler Alexander left off, with Andrew Chafin pitching out of a jam in the seventh, Will Vest throwing a clean inning in the eighth, and Gregory Soto slamming the door in the ninth. The Tigers have had no shot at the playoffs for awhile, but rolling into Chicago and all but ending a division rival’s waning hopes with a sweep admittedly feels pretty good.
The Tigers head home for a well earned off day on Monday. They’ll welcome in the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night as the final homestand of the 2022 season gets underway.