CHICAGO (AP) — Riley Greene’s sacrifice fly drove in a tiebreaking run in the seventh inning and the Detroit Tigers handed the fading Chicago White Sox their fourth straight loss, 5-3 on Friday night.
Akil Baddoo singled off reliever Reynaldo Lopez (5-4) to lead off the seventh, then advanced to third when he stole second and catcher Yasmani Grandal’s throw sailed into center field. Baddoo trotted home on Greene’s fly to center to put the Tigers ahead 4-3.
Spencer Torkelson's ground-rule double in the eighth scored an insurance run and Detroit went on to win for the third time in four games. Last-place Detroit improved to 5-12 against the defending AL Central champion White Sox and pushed them to the brink of elimination.
“Once we were eliminated, it sucks,” Torkelson said. “But you can put your tail between your legs and just mope around the rest of the season. Or you can go out there trying to ruin someone else's season and say, 'Hey, we're not going to the playoff and neither are you.'
“So that's kind of been the attitude. These games are fun.”
A.J. Pollock’s two-run homer in the sixth tied it 3-3 after Detroit grabbed an early three-run lead against Lucas Giolito.
“We came back from the tough blow with the homer and answered back," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We tacked on and used some pressure. There's a lot to like about tonight's win.”
The White Sox fell a season-high eight games behind first-place Cleveland, which won at Texas Friday night on the heels of sweeping a three-game series in Chicago. The surging Guardians have reduced their magic number to win the AL Central title to 3 since they hold the tie-breaker against the White Sox.
Jonathan Schoop had a solo shot and Eric Haase added two hits and an RBI for the last-place Tigers. Miguel Cabrera drove in a run with a groundout.
Detroit starter Eduardo Rodriguez (4-5) gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings to improve his career mark against the White Sox to 3-0.
“Even when in that inning when he gave up the homer, he was able to collect himself tonight,” Hinch said. “His tempo was great tonight. His strike-throwing was good. He hung in there long enough for us to take the lead.”
Andrew Chafin entered with two outs in the eighth and struck out pinch hitter Romy Gonzalez with the bases loaded. Gregory Soto pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save.
The White Sox came out still reeling from the sweep by the Guardians that all-but dashed their hopes of making the postseason a third straight year.
“I wouldn't say it's surprising or shocking,” Giolito said of Chicago's latest slide. “We've had a whole season of not putting things together. Tonight another tough loss late, but I think we've got a lot of motivation.”
Detroit scored three times off Giolito in the first two innings. But the right-hander settled down to allow just those three runs and six hits in six innings while striking out nine in a no-decision. Tabbed has Chicago’s ace before the start of the season, Giolito hasn’t won since Aug. 24 at Baltimore and has a 5.45 ERA in his last seven starts.
“It’s been a rough year for us, but a rough year for me, obviously,” Giolito said. “Just trying to finish on a good note.”
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first on Cabrera's groundout and Haase’s single. Schoop’s 11th homer, on Giolito’s first pitch of the second, landed in the left-field bullpen and made it 3-0.
The White Sox cut it to 3-1 in the third on Jose Abreu’s RBI single. Pollock’s 14th homer, to right center, tied it.
MIGGY UP A NOTCH
Cabrera’s single in the third to give him 3,082 hits, moving him ahead of Cap Anson for 24th all time. Next in line for Cabrera is Ichiro Suzuki, who finished with 3,089 hits.
MRS. VEECK REMEMBERED
The White Sox held a moment of silence before the game for Mary Frances Veeck, the second wife of legendary former team owner Bill Veeck. Her death at the age of 102 was announced on Friday.
White Sox: All-Star SS Tim Anderson, out since Aug. 6 (left middle finger surgery) continues to take batting practice and make progress, acting manager Miguel Cairo said. Cairo thinks Anderson could still return this season, but added “Let’s see what happens.” ... CF Luis Robert (sore left wrist) was out the lineup after starting last Saturday and Tuesday. “If he has a couple days off, he feels better and soon he gets two, three at-bats, he starts feeling the pain again,” Cairo said.
Detroit RHP Drew Hutchison (2-9, 4.59) faces Chicago RHP Davis Martin (2-4, 3.78) on Saturday night.