White Sox beat Tigers 6-5 on Dye’s ninth-inning HR
Dye changed his tune a bit after hitting a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning to lift Chicago to a 6-5 win over Detroit on Friday night.
“A big game for them getting back into the race and we stole one,” Dye said.
The White Sox have won three straight and 16 of 24. They lead the Minnesota Twins by 3 1/2 games and Detroit by 6 1/2 in the AL Central with two-plus months left in the season.
Chicago leads the season series against Detroit 6-4 with eight games left.
The White Sox entered 0-38 when trailing after eight innings but rallied in the ninth after Carlos Guillen put Detroit ahead with a tiebreaking homer in the seventh.
Todd Jones (4-1) was an out away from ending the game before blowing his third save in 22 chances and hearing boos as he walked to the dugout. Carlos Quentin hit a two-out, two-strike single and Dye sent a 2-0 pitch into the right-field seats to turn cheers into jeers.
Detroit has been the hottest team in baseball since early June—after starting 0-7 and sinking to 24-36—and had a chance to make its deficit in the division the smallest it’s been since mid-May.
“We’re in a little bit of a pickle because of the way we started the season,” Jones said. “We win and lose as a team, but tonight, I cost us the game.”
The White Sox tied it with three runs in the seventh, but Guillen put Detroit back ahead in the home half with a towering home run off reliever Nick Masset that sailed an estimated 399 feet.
Detroit starter Nate Robertson gave up three runs, five hits and a season-high five walks over six-plus innings and 44,393 fans gave him a standing ovation.
“This was as close to a playoff atmosphere as you can get,” Robertson said.
Joel Zumaya replaced Robertson with two on and none out in the seventh and his first pitch was hit by Orlando Cabrera for an RBI single and A.J. Pierzynski followed with a sacrifice fly, cutting Detroit’s lead to a run.
Then after getting Dye to pop out, Zumaya’s pitch got away from Ivan Rodriguez and he threw wildly to third to let Cabrera score a tying run.
“Gold Glove catcher, you never thought would’ve made a play at third like that,” Dye said.
Gavin Floyd gave up four runs, three earned, and a season-high nine hits in six innings for Chicago.
“The only good thing we can say about this game was we won,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Curtis Granderson scored Detroit’s first run—thanks to Guillen’s slide at second that took out shortstop Cabrera’s legs to break up a likely double play— and had a tiebreaking run in a three-run third.
Robertson got off to a fantastic start, retiring the side in order with just 11 pitches over the first two innings.
He got into and out of a jam in the third, walking the leadoff batter and giving up a pair of one-out hits, including Orlando Cabrera’s RBI single. But he stranded two with a groundout and strikeout.
Ordonez hit a go-ahead single in the home half and Miguel Cabrera followed with an RBI double.
Robertson got in and out of trouble again in the fifth, giving up consecutive walks with two outs to load the bases before getting Quentin to pop up. But manager Jim Leyland didn’t give him another chance to escape a jam in the seventh with two runners on, both of whom scored with Zumaya on the mound.
“Nate was tremendous,” Leyland said. “I wasn’t going to let him go through he top of the order again.”
: The White Sox put All-Star 3B Joe Crede (back) on the DL and replaced him with Josh Fields. They also released RHP Esteban Loaiza. … Detroit’s Dontrelle Willis is expected to pitch for Single-A Lakeland on Saturday. … Floyd is 0-2 in his last three starts after going 6-1 in his previous eight outings.