Raburn homers twice, drives in 7 in Tigers’ 13-9 win over White Sox
CHICAGO (AP)—Ryan Raburn laid down a sacrifice bunt in the first inning. Then he started swinging the bat.
Raburn, making an emergency start after Gary Sheffield was scratched from the lineup, hit two homers and drove in seven runs to lift the Detroit Tigers over the Chicago White Sox 13-9 on Wednesday night.
“I don’t know who the dumb (guy) was who had him bunt the first time,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I wanted to try and get a run on the board in the first inning. It didn’t work, obviously. Maybe it made him mad.”
Raburn hit homers in the third and fourth innings and had an RBI double during Detroit’s five-run fifth. He added two more runs on a single in the ninth. His seven RBIs were the most for a Tiger since Carlos Pena also had seven on May 19, 2003, at Cleveland, and one shy of the club record held by Jim Northrup.
“I think it’s probably the best game I’ve ever had, and probably ever will,” Raburn said.
The 26-year-old Raburn, called up for the first time this season from Triple-A Toledo on July 6, hit his first career homer last Friday. He’s 10-for-20 in nine games, with three homers and 10 RBIs.
“What I like about him is he’s a hungry player,” Leyland said. “He went down to Triple-A and did everything we asked. He has some versatility and we’re going to use him.”
Jason Grilli (5-2) got the win, giving up two runs and three hits in three innings of relief. Tim Byrdak, activated from the 15-day disabled list after elbow tendinitis, pitched two perfect innings for his first save.
Kenny Rogers struggled in a battle of aging pitchers. The 42-year-old left-hander lasted four innings, served up four homers and yielded seven runs in all. He has allowed 17 earned runs in his last three starts, spanning just 15 1-3 innings.
“I’m not worried about Kenny,” Leyland said. “That’s the least of my worries.”
Jose Contreras (5-13) was worse, giving up nine runs and 12 hits in 4 2-3 innings to push his ERA to 6.22. The erstwhile ace has lost six straight starts and has a 9.41 ERA in that span. He is 1-9 over his last 11 starts.
“It was real bad pitching on both sides,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Contreras said he felt more confident on Wednesday than he has all year. He said he’s not hurt, either—just not pitching very well.
“It’s location for me,” Contreras said through an interpreter. “I’m trying to hit my spots and the ball is not moving. It’s staying right in the middle of the plate.”
“It was a hitter’s night tonight,” Dye said.
Raburn, whose only other appearance in the big leagues was a 12-game stretch with Detroit in 2004, hit a three-run shot in the fourth that tied the game at 5. Homers by Uribe and Gonzalez in the bottom of the inning gave the White Sox a 7-5 lead.
Carlos Guillen singled to lead off the fifth, and one out later Mike Rabelo and Brandon Inge had singled to cut the deficit to 7-6. After Omar Infante reached on a fielder’s choice, Granderson lashed a two-out, run-scoring single to right to tie the game.
“He didn’t have anything on the mound,” Guillen said of Contreras. “We gave him every opportunity to get out of that inning and he couldn’t.”
The White Sox cut into the lead in the sixth. Grilli gave up a single to Toby Hall and walked Andy Gonzalez, leading to Iguchi’s two-run double that sailed past Raburn in shallow right to make it 10-9.
Sheffield missed the game with a sore right shoulder. … Ozzie Guillen said Darin Erstad (sprained left ankle) should be ready to return to the team in a few days. … Ryan Bukvich pitched two scoreless innings for the White Sox. … Fields has homered in three straight days, going 0-for-4 in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. He is hitting .409 in his last six games.