Eric Haase powers Detroit Tigers to 11-5 win over Chicago White Sox

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When the baseball skipped underneath a diving Billy Hamilton's glove in center field, Tigers slugger Eric Haase put his legs into another gear. Known for driving home runs over the fenct, Haase has a secret weapon.

Speed.

The speedy Hamilton chased after the ball, which rolled to the warning track, but Jonathan Schoop and Miguel Cabrera easily touched home plate. Third base coach Chip Hale aggressively waved his arm. Haase chugged around third base and scored, for an inside-the-park three-run homer in the fourth inning.

But that moment wasn't the only reasons fans applauded Saturday at Comerica Park. The Tigers (37-46) scored four runs in an electric fifth inning, propelling them to a 11-5 win over the Chicago White Sox in the second of three games in the series.

Entering Saturday, Detroit had lost 18 of its past 20 games against the White Sox.

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Tigers left fielder Eric Haase, right, celebrates his infield home run with designated hitter Miguel Cabrera during the fourth inning against the White Sox on Saturday, July 3, 2021, at Comerica Park.
Tigers left fielder Eric Haase, right, celebrates his infield home run with designated hitter Miguel Cabrera during the fourth inning against the White Sox on Saturday, July 3, 2021, at Comerica Park.

Haase's inside-the-park home run was the first by a Tiger since JaCoby Jones' on Aug. 10, 2020, against the White Sox.

For their 11 runs, the Tigers recorded 10 hits and eight walks — scoring three runs in the fourth inning, four in the fifth, three in the seventh and one in the eighth. Haase crushed his second home run in the seventh (this one over the fence in right field). It was his fourth multi-homer game in 2021.

His three-run blast pushed the Tigers' lead to 10-5.

Haase finished 3-for-4 with six RBIs. Through 36 games this season, he has 11 home runs. Schoop crushed his team-leading 16th homer (in 79 games played) in the eighth inning. His solo homer traveled 440 feet to straightaway center.

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Tigers manager AJ Hinch turned to his bullpen in the sixth inning.

His first reliever, right-hander Joe Jimenez, struck out the side, all on fastballs: Hamilton and Danny Mendick went down swinging, and Zack Collins got punched out looking. For Mendick's whiff to end the inning, Jimenez's fastball maxed out at 97.3 mph.

Once Jimenez completed his job, Hinch went to his most reliable relievers. Righty Jose Cisnero pitched a scoreless seventh, thanks to an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play started by shortstop Zack Short. Right-hander Kyle Funkhouser added a scoreless eighth, this time behind a 4-6-3 double play started by second baseman Willi Castro.

Righty Buck Farmer pitched a perfect ninth.

A big fifth inning

The Tigers made the most of singles and walks to chase White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel and post four runs in the inning. Here's how the first three batters set the table: Castro (single), Jake Rogers (single) and Akil Baddoo (single).

A mound visit didn't help Keuchel's performance.

Schoop singled up the middle to score two runs and tie the game at five-all. Next, Jeimer Candelario shot a single to right field — he entered Saturday 5-for-28 (.179) in his past eight games — to score Baddoo from second base for a 6-5 lead.

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Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa (22) and umpire Tom Hallion (20) during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Saturday July 3, 2021.
Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa (22) and umpire Tom Hallion (20) during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Saturday July 3, 2021.

Chicago manger Tony La Russa had seen enough, calling Ryan Burr out of the bullpen to replace Keuchel. Burr struck out consecutive batters (Cabrera and Haase) before allowing back-to-back walks to Robbie Grossman and Short.

The walk to Short came with the bases loaded, so the Tigers jumped ahead 7-5. Meanwhile, White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz seemingly made a comment about missed calls by home place ump Tom Hallion from the dugout. He was ejected from the game.

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Keuchel conceded seven runs on seven hits and three walks. He struck out two, throwing 49 of 79 pitches for strikes.

Skubal gives up five runs

Left-hander Tarik Skubal wishes he would have completed his outing without allowing Leury Garcia to punch a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning. After Haase's inside-the-park home run gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead, the White Sox quickly grabbed it back.

Chicago's rally started with Tim Anderson's double to start the fifth. Jose Abreu knocked a one-out single through the infield and into right field, evening the score at three runs. A two-out blast from Garcia — his second long ball of 2021 — put Chicago ahead 5-3.

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Detroit Tigers pitcher Tarik Skubal throws against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Saturday, July 3, 2021.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Tarik Skubal throws against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Saturday, July 3, 2021.

Skubal allowed five runs — three in the fifth inning — on eight hits and one walk. He struck out six and threw 65 of 94 pitches for strikes. The first two runs against him came in the first inning on RBIs from Abreu (single) and Garcia (force out).

He threw 22 pitches in the first inning, 22 in the second, 14 in the third, 11 in the fourth and 25 in the fifth. The 24-year-old rookie recorded two strikeouts in both the fourth and fifth innings.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Eric Haase powers Detroit Tigers to 11-5 win over Chicago White Sox