Chicago 4, Detroit 1 (box)
It was a homecoming of sorts last night at Comerica Park. Former Tiger Edwin Jackson made his first start with his latest team, the White Sox, and returned to Detroit as a visitor for the second time since being traded away in the offseason.
Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge also came home, returning to the Tigers after a two week stay on the disabled list, and Jhonny Peralta returned to his original position and played shortstop for Detroit.
There were warm, fuzzy feelings all over the stadium. At least until the game started.
Armando Galarraga didn’t pitch poorly, he just didn’t pitch particularly well, either. The Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, but that could have (and probably should’ve) been worse if not for Alex Rios running in the face of left fielder Don Kelly on a single to left. Kelly got his man at third for the second out of the inning and the Sox were held to one run. (more after the jump)
In the bottom of the first the Tigers looked like they were going to answer. Austin Jackson started the game with a single, followed two batters later by another from Johnny Damon. The Tigers could get on the board with the heart of the lineup coming to the plate, but Jackson got Miguel Cabrera to fly out before fanning Brennan Boesch to end the threat.
And that was the theme of the night. The Tigers threaten but fail to score.
After stranding two runners in the first, they duplicated the feat in the second. Then they left runners on in the third, fourth, and fifth as well. All the while, Chicago brought out the big bats. Carlos Quentin, who might just be my least favorite player in baseball right now, homered to give the Sox a 3-0 lead, and Paul Konerko added a solo shot in the sixth.
The Tigers trailed 4-0 entering the eighth, but back-to-back walks started the inning for the Tigers. After a fly out by Peralta, Inge came through with his third hit of the game and plated the first Tiger run. Inge and Boeach both advanced when Andruw Jones‘ throw hit Cabrera as he was crossing the plate and once again the Tigers were one big hit away from getting right back into the game.
Once again, they failed to come through. Chicago’s Matt Thornton entered the contest and quickly retired the two batters he faced to escape the jam and effectively end the game.
On the bright side, Inge did collect three hits and an RBI in his first game off the DL. Peralta made a couple of good defensive plays at short, though there was a groundball up the middle that he didn’t get to (I wonder if Santiago would have gotten there, I assume he would have). Kelly and AJax each had two hits as well.
The other side shows yet another Tigers loss. They’ve dropped two of the first three against the first place White Sox, a series they absolutely had to win. Now all they can do is hope to split. That’s not good enough at home. Speaking of, Detroit, who came in with baseball’s best home record, has now lost six of their last 10 home games.