White Sox 4, Tigers 3
CHICAGO (AP)—Alex Cintron noticed a pattern, and then it was just a matter of waiting for his pitch.
“I figured him out,” Cintron said. “He was throwing fastball, changeup, one after another. I was looking for the fastball.”
With Detroit ahead 3-1, Rodney walked Jermaine Dye leading off the eighth and Joe Crede with one out. Cintron then hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for his first homer of the season, sending the second-place White Sox to their second victory in seven games.
Dye hit his 17th homer leading off the second inning for Chicago, which had lost seven of 10.
Rodney (4-2) had pitched 6 2-3 scoreless innings over his previous five outings, before coming on to start the eighth. Until then, Nate Robertson was on his way to his sixth victory after allowing one run in 6 1-3 innings.
“He walked two guys and Cintron saw too many pitches, and that’s basically the ballgame,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “It’s that simple. Rodney has been brilliant all season long. You know one of these was going to happen.”
The 12-time All-Star struck out to end the second and caught the bottom of that inning, but did not come out for the third. Vance Wilson replaced him behind the plate.
Back in the lineup after missing a three-game series against Texas with a strained left groin, the slugger struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch. Paul Konerko then flied out to end the threat.
The next inning, an unlikely source supplied the big drive.
“We’ve got some professional hitters—(Rob) Mackowiak, Cintron, (Ross) Gload—guys that aren’t in there every day,” Konerko said. “They’re very good situational hitters. Other than Jim, I don’t think we have guys who are the superstar, guys you appreciate watching one day. It’s something you have to watch over time.”
White Sox starter Freddy Garcia was shaky, throwing 118 pitches and allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings. But McCarthy had one of his best relief outings.
The White Sox were 2-4 before sweeping three games at Detroit in April and were slumping again heading into this one. Now a major league-best 21-8 at home, Chicago started this nine-game homestand by dropping two of three to Texas— including a 10-2 pounding on Sunday.
After allowing five runs in each of his previous two starts, Garcia had his usual troubles in the early going. He was fortunate to survive the first without giving up a run, after walking two batters and allowing a ground-rule double to former White Sox slugger Magglio Ordonez. But the Tigers left the bases loaded.
Thames, on an 8-for-18 surge entering the game, led off the second by driving a 1-2 pitch out for his 10th homer to extend his hitting streak to six. And with one out, Inge slugged his 12th to make it 2-0.
Tied for third in the AL in home runs when the day began, Dye hit a 1-1 pitch just beyond the left-field bullpen leading off the bottom half.
But Shelton hit his 12th homer leading off the fourth to increase Detroit’s lead to 3-1.
It seemed safe after Thome and Konerko went down in the eighth. Then, Cintron struck.
“I know my job is to back up Uribe and Iguchi,” he said. “In the playoffs, I’ll be ready to help the team win.”
Rodriguez wasn’t sure how he hurt his back and is day to day. … The Tigers transferred pitcher Mike Maroth to the 60-day disabled list and purchased outfielder Alexis Gomez’s contract from Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday. Maroth went on the 15-day DL on May 26—one day after allowing six runs in one-third of an inning against Kansas City—and underwent arthroscopic surgery last week to remove bone chips in his left elbow. … Dye has reached base in his last 14 games.