Last night, the Chicago White Sox were all over Justin Verlander once he got two outs. Tonight, it was the Tigers who turned the table, scoring all of their runs with two out in an 8-5 victory over Chicago.
The Tigers were able to strike early and often against Chicago starter Dylan Axelrod. Prince Fielder opened the scoring with a much-needed two-run homer to right in the bottom of the first, and they added a third run in the second on Austin Jackson’s two-out triple that scored Ramon Santiago from first. A big hit came in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and one out, Andy Dirks popped out, leaving it up to Alex Avila – who hit a 3-2 changeup into right field to score two runs and give the Tigers a 5-1 lead.
Rick Porcello ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the inning. He gave up three consecutive one out singles, the third an RBI hit from Dayan Viciedo. Things could have been much worse if not for Torii Hunter, who made a tumbling catch on Gordon Beckham to save a base hit and limit him to a sacrifice fly, enabling Porcello to escape the inning with a 5-3 lead intact.
The Tigers finally chased Axelrod in the sixth and took advantage of a shaky White Sox bullpen – namely Ramon Troncoso, who entered with runners at first and second and two out (of course) and promptly gave up three consecutive singles – one to Miguel Cabrera, who drove in his 93rd run of the season; then to Prince Fielder; and then to Victor Martinez, who had yet another three hit night. Suddenly it was 8-3 and the game looked good as over.
Bruce Rondon made a few people sweat in the seventh when he allowed a homer to Gordon Beckham, a walk to Alejandro De Aza, two wild pitches, and an RBI double to Alexei Ramirez, but he escaped further damage. Drew Smyly pitched a routine eighth and Joaquin Benoit put two on before closing things out in the ninth.