White Sox 5, Tigers 3; White Sox 8, Tigers 7
CHICAGO (AP)—A.J. Pierzynski figured he had the night off after working the first game of a doubleheader. Instead, he found himself behind the plate after an injury to Toby Hall and smack in the middle of one of the White Sox’s biggest comebacks.
Pierzynski, who entered after Hall was hit by the backswing of Carlos Guillen’s bat in the sixth, hit a crazy-hop single past Guillen in the eighth to drive in the go-ahead run as Chicago beat the Detroit Tigers 8-7 for a sweep of the day-night doubleheader.
“You have to be ready,” Pierzynski. “You never want to see anybody go down like that, no matter what the situation is.”
“To win two games against that team is pretty tough the way they’ve been playing and with their lineup,” Pierzynski said. “We played a pretty good first game and the second game it looked like we were out of it.”
The White Sox trailed 7-1 in the night game before getting two runs in the sixth, then closed to 7-6 when Jim Thome hit a three-run homer off Chad Durbin in the seventh. Pierzynski had walked and was on base when Thome connected.
Rob Mackowiak opened the eighth with a bad-hop double past first baseman Sean Casey, moved to third on a grounder and scored the tying run on a single by Scott Podsednik, who came off the disabled list Tuesday.
Podsednik stole second, Juan Uribe walked off Zach Miner (1-2) and Pierzynski hit a liner that bounced right in front of Guillen. Had Guillen controlled the ball, he might have started a double play. The play was initially ruled an error, but changed by the official scorer to a hit about half an hour after the game.
“It took a funny hop on him,” Pierzynski said. “It looked like he was trying to catch it in the air and coming to get it, it kind of took a hop and came up.”
Matt Thornton (3-3), who got the final out of the top of the eighth, got the win. After Thornton gave up a leadoff single in the ninth to Casey, Bobby Jenks got the final three outs for his 28th save in 33 chances, his second of the day. Pinch-runner Brandon Inge stole second, but Mike Rabelo lined into a game-ending double play.
“I didn’t have any problem with Inge getting doubled. That’s a tough one. You’ve got to score,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Virgil Vasquez called up by Detroit from Triple-A, made his second major league start in the second game. He allowed two runs and four hits in five-plus innings, giving up homers to Rob Mackowiak and Tadahito Iguchi. He left with a 7-2 lead but the Detroit bullpen faltered.
“Obviously we should have won the game for him, but we didn’t do it,” Leyland said. `
Chicago starter Gavin Floyd, also called up from Triple-A to make his second start this season, was roughed up for seven runs—five earned—and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Mike Hessman, who had 27 homers in the minors before being called up this week, hit a long solo shot in the second. Detroit added two more on Rabelo’s double, a two-base error on Mackowiak for missing Curtis Granderson’s fly ball to right and an RBI single by Gary Sheffield.
Thome’s homer was his 17th of the season and 489th of his career.
In the first game, Vazquez allowed four hits over eight innings. Detroit had won Monday’s series opener 9-6 with 18 hits.
Jeremy Bonderman (10-2) gave up five runs and eight hits in seven innings. He is 2-2 in his last six starts after winning eight in a row.
“Those guys swung the bats last night and had almost 20 hits and he came out and shut them down,” Konerko said. “You need an effort like that against a guy like Bonderman because you’re not going to score a ton off runs.”
Vazquez (8-5) gave up solo homers to Curtis Granderson and Ivan Rodriguez. He struck out eight and walked one, improving to 5-0 in his last seven starts.
Jenks pitched the ninth, helping the White Sox stop a four-game losing streak.
Detroit led 1-0 and twice came back to tie the game, but each time Bonderman gave the runs right back.
“You give ‘em up after you get some, you’re going to lose,” Bonderman said. “I did it three times. It takes the momentum and gives it right back. I didn’t do my job. … We lost because of it.”
With the score 3-3 in the sixth, Thome singled and Konerko hit a liner over the fence in left for his 22nd homer. Josh Fields also homered for the White Sox.
“Really, I was garbage all day besides one swing,” said Konerko, who also grounded into two double plays. “It’s nice if when you do something when you’re not feeling great that it matters.”
Granderson homered for the second straight game, tying it 3-all when he led off the sixth with his 15th of the season. He went 2-for-4, improving his July average to .375 (27-for-72).
Magglio Ordonez’s RBI grounder put the Tigers ahead in the first, but Chicago responded with two in the bottom half on Konerko’s RBI grounder and A.J. Pierzynski’s run-scoring double.
Rodriguez tied it in the fifth with his ninth homer, but Fields’ second homer in as many games and seventh of the season gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead in the bottom half.
“I hung a breaking ball to Fields. I threw too many to him in a row. It was my fault,” Bonderman said. “I’m a better pitcher than that.”
Hall got a minor concussion after he was apparently struck in the neck and head area by the backswing of Guillen’s bat. X-rays and a neurological exam were negative … The opener was a makeup of an April 26 rainout.