Detroit 4, Chicago 8 (box)
There were storms on the radar headed towards US Cellular Field, and both starting pitchers began the game last night as if they had somewhere to be.
Mark Buehrle and Jeremy Bonderman each retired the first seven batters they faced, but once the game progressed to the middle innings, it didn’t take long for the offenses to heat up and for Bonderman to fall apart.
With the game still scoreless entering the bottom of the fifth, Bonderman had allowed just two singled so far. Mark Teahen, just off the disabled list, began the frame with a single and moved to second on a single by Alexei Ramirez. After a bunt moved both runners up, Mark Kotsay drove in the first run with a swinging bunt just left of the mound. Although Bonderman got to the ball quickly, Teahen had a great jump and beat the throw home.
The very next batter, Gordon Beckham, took Bonderman opposite field and over the wall to break the game wide open.
But the Tigers clawed back against Buehrle. With a runner on and two out, Jhonny Peralta battled Buehrle for a lengthy at bat. When the count ran full, Austin Jackson was running on the pitch from first and A.J. Pierzynski lost track of the count. He caught the fourth ball, then saw Jackson on the move to second. Inexplicably, Pierzynski fired the baseball into centerfield, allowing Jackson to take third. An infield hit by Miguel Cabrera got the Tigers on the board and Carlos Guillen brought home another run to put the Tigers back into the game.*************
But just as quickly as his offense had helped him out, Bonderman gave those two runs right back in the bottom of the sixth, serving up a long home run to Teahen. Apparently, Rick Knapp has not taught his pitchers what it means to have a “shutdown” inning. Once again, the Tigers answered the bell and Ryan Raburn took Buehrle over the wall in left for his third homer in his last eight games. With a heavy rain now falling, the game was halted for over an hour.
When play finally resumed, reliever Sergio Santos battled through the rest of the inning, keeping the Tigers from scoring again. Eddie Bonine, now pitching for Detroit, wasted no time in giving the Raburn homer right back. Beckham went off the wall in right for a triple to lead off the inning and Juan Pierre followed that with a triple of his own, thanks to a horrible play by Brennan Boesch in right. The damage could have been worse, but Bonine stranded Pierre at third.
Once again, The Tigers scored in their half to try to get back into the game, this time on a Brandon Inge home run, his first since May 30, which cut the lead back to three. Once again, Bonine gave the run right back, serving up a homer to Ramirez in the bottom of the inning, which finally pt the game away for Chicago.
The White Sox have now won seven of the nine meetings with the Tigers this year. Detroit didn’t quit in this game, which would have been easy to do down 4-0 against Buehrle, but Bonderman and Bonine were unable to quiet the Sox bats. The Tigers scored in three consecutive innings, each time, however, the pitchers were unable to keep the Sox from answering.
Still, offensively speaking, this was a much better game for Detroit. Inge’s homer was just the second that Matt Thornton has allowed all year long, Guillen got his first hit and RBI since coming off the DL, and Peralta, despite going 0-for-3, saw 24 pitches and worked a key walk. Raburn lead the way with three hits, falling a triple short of the cycle, and Jackson reached base three times as well.
The White Sox collected 10 hits, and that wouldn’t be so bad normally, but five of those ten went for extra bases (2 triples, 3 HR). This is a loss you can blame on the pitching staff.