May 4, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta (27) celebrates his two run walk off home run during the ninth inning to win the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Peralta Roars, Tigers Take Opener 5-4

Just when you thought the game was over and Matt Thornton had tied a nice little bow on a win over the division rival Tigers, Jhonny Peralta belts a two-run walk-off home run to immediately kill the mood. The home run, an opposite field shot into the second row of the bleachers, was Peralta’s first of the season. The disappointment on the face of Sox starter Jake Peavy was clearly visible in the dugout shots during the home plate celebration.

Peavy worked a typical 2012 outing, going 7.2 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out six. His pitch count was at a ridiculous 122 (81 for strikes) when Robin Ventura finally brought Thornton into the game. Despite the workload Peavy is the best pitcher on the staff, maintaining a sparkling ERA of 1.99 through five starts and 37.2 innings pitched – something I’m sure none of us expected after that whole “I’m not 100% of what I was once but I’m 100% at where I am now” or whatever speech.

Gordon Beckham continues to hit as he went three-for-three in tonight’s game, coming a triple short of the cycle. His two-run home run in the seventh inning broke a 2-2 tie but the Tigers were able to push across a run on a Miguel Cabrera sinle in the eighth inning and then, of course, Peralta’s two-run walk-off in the ninth capped an admittedly impressive comeback win.

Tigers rookie Drew Smyly went six innings of two-run ball tonight, bringing his ERA up (can you believe that?) to a ghastly 1.61 (yuck!). If only he could keep hitters at bay maybe he’d amount to something. But no, after allowing the most runs in any start of his career tonight, all signs point down for young Smyly. (End sarcasm)

The Tigers have struggled at home this year (a .500 winning percentage at Comerica after tonight’s victory) and the Sox may have handed them the momentum they need to pick things up. The Tigers, with a record of 13-12, are a game and a half back of the 14-10 Indians for first place in the Central and the Sox, who fell to 12-14 tonight, are a game and a half back of the Tigers for second.

Gavin Floyd (2-3, 3.13) will go for the Sox tomorrow afternoon against Max Scherzer (1-3, 7.77). Scherzer threw 119 pitches through five innings in his last outing against the Yankees so hopefully the Sox can take advantage of some iffy command out of the Tigers’ righty and even up this three-game series at one win apiece. First pitch scheduled for 3:05 central time.

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Tags: 5-4 Chicago Detroit Drew Smyly ERA Home Run Jake Peavy Jhonny Peralta Rookie Tigers Walk-off White Sox