The Detroit Tigers bats stayed alive on Sunday afternoon as the Tigers hit a pair of bombs in the sixth to power their way passed the White Sox, 6-4, and take the weekend series in Chicago.
Designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes hit the first homer of the sixth immediately after first baseman Miguel Cabrera grounded into a deflating double play. Second baseman Ian Kinsler started the frame with a single, but it appeared White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija would escape unscathed after inducing the twin killing.
Cespedes made sure that didn’t happen as he hit an outside fastball for a line drive over the right field fence. Two batters later, right fielder J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer to give the Tigers a one-run lead.
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Starter Alfredo Simon took care of the rest.
After allowing four runs in the first two innings, he pitched six scoreless frames in which he yielded just one hit. That was a lead off double in the fifth to center fielder Adam Eaton, but he didn’t even advance to third as Simon killed any possibly rally by forcing a pop out, strike out and ground out to the next three batters.
Simon finished with eight innings pitched and allowed four runs, one earned on five hits, struck out seven and walked two. He improved his record to 6-3 and his ERA dropped to 2.76.
The unearned runs came in the first inning on White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia‘s two-out homer. In the previous at-bat, Chicago first baseman Adam LaRoche hit a grounder to first base. With Cabrera holding the runner, he had to range quickly to his right and the ball hit off the top of his glove. The error was Cabrera’s first of the season.
Garcia hit the three-run blast four pitches later.
With still a one-run lead in the eighth, Cespedes added an insurance run on a single that scored Kinsler. Cespedes was 3-for-4 with the home run, two RBI and a run scored. Kinsler, who seems to be finally out of his slump, had two hits and scored a run.
In addition to the game-winning home run, Martinez had an RBI-single in the fourth and finished with two hits and three RBI. Left fielder Tyler Collins had a great day, hitting the ball where the defenders weren’t, going 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Collins had a single in between Cespedes and Martinez’s two homers that kept the sixth inning going with two outs.
Two days after blowing his second save chance of the year, Tigers closer Joakim Soria nailed down his 16th game of the year. He allowed just one hit versus four batters.
The victory moves Detroit two game back over the .500 mark and improves the Tigers to 20-11 versus the AL Central this season. Meanwhile, the White Sox are 25-30, which is 7 1/2 games behind the division leading Minnesota Twins.