The Detroit Tigers were able to avoid the sweep Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field behind a great pitching performance by Kyle Lobstein.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana did not pitch poorly, but too many miscues cost the Sox a series sweep.
Quintana started the game with a strikeout of Rajai Davis and a line out from Ian Kinsler. Then, with two outs and no one on, Quintana hit Miguel Cabrera with a pitch. Victor Martinez followed with a single, advancing Cabrera to third base.
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A wild pitch on a 3-2 count to Yoenis Cespedes scored Cabrera from third. That was crucial because Quintana fanned JD Martinez, who batted next.
The White Sox tied the game in the fourth inning, but potentially cost themselves the game as well.
Melky Cabrera led off the inning by reaching on an error, and then Jose Abreu followed him with a single. With runners on the corners and no one out, Avisail Garcia singled to center. which scored Cabrera and moved Abreu to third.
Not only did the Tigers turn the double play, but with Abreu on third, Castellanos stepped on third before throwing home, where catcher Alex Avila tagged Abreu. Gordon Beckham then grounded out to Miguel Cabrera for the final out in the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Davis reached with a one-out walk. Ian Kinsler then singled to left, putting runners on first and second. With Miguel Cabrera up, Davis stole third base. Cabrera hit a grounder to third baseman Beckham, which took a bad hop right before he was about to make a play on it.
He was able to knock it down and throw Cabrera out at first, but Davis scored, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Had Beckham gotten a better hop, the inning would have likely ended on a double play with Cabrera running.
The top of the eighth is where the Tigers got a little bit of breathing room.
With Dan Jennings on the mound for his second inning of work, Kinsler led off the frame with a double. Cabrera was intentionally walked to set up a double play.
The White Sox left Jennings in to face Martinez, which was a bit bizarre considering the fact that he has been crushing lefties all year. Martinez singled, which scored Kinsler and advanced Cabrera to second base. Cespedes then flew out to center, but a high throw by Adam Eaton allowed Cabrera to get into third base.
Assuming the throw was on the mark, Cabrera would have been out. Since the throw was high, as well as too long, Martinez advanced to second.
May 7, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Andrew Romine (27) forces out Chicago White Sox second baseman Micah Johnson (7) during the eighth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
In another odd move, the Sox walked JD Martinez, who is in an awful slump, to load the bases. Castellanos followed up with a single, but assuming Martinez was retired without the ball leaving the infield, the White Sox could have walked Castellanos to face Avila, who struck out.
I know hindsight is 20/20, but some of the decisions by manager Robin Ventura in that inning were a bit questionable.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Sox got a lead-off hit from Micah Johnson, which was erased on a double play off of the bat of Eaton. Melky Cabrera singled with two outs, which was the end of the afternoon for Lobstein.
Tigers closer Joakim Soria came on to strike out Abreu, which ended the inning. The bottom of the ninth went no better, as Soria struck out the side to end the game.
This was a game that the White Sox did not play well in whatsoever.
The upcoming series with the Cincinnati Reds will be critical, and a series win would be quite helpful in giving them ability to climb back into the race.