DETROIT — The red-hot Chicago White Sox (12-9) enter today’s game with the Detroit Tigers (11-11) winners of five in a row, and in search of a second consecutive series victory with a win today over the Tigers. Derek Holland (2-2, 1.99 ERA) took the mound for the White Sox looking to out-duel the defending American League Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer (2-1, 2.88 ERA).
After a pair of walks in the first inning to Tyler Saladino and Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier who entered the game with a five-game hitting streak that has seen him drive in seven runs, collected an RBI-single to extend his hitting streak to six games and give the White Sox an early 1-0 lead on Saturday afternoon.
The bottom of the first was a rough one for Derek Holland, who was not getting the inside strike that he depends on to pitch against right-handed hitters, and after a laborious inning, Holland was able to escape only allowing one run on a Victor Martinez RBI-single to center field, making it a 1-1 ballgame after one full inning.
In the top of the second inning the White Sox got that run back, after back-to-back singles by Cody Asche and Omar Narvaez, Leury Garcia plated Asche on a sacrifice-fly to left field, putting the White Sox back in front 2-1.
Jose Abreu led off the top of the third inning with a solo homer to extend the White Sox lead to 3-1.
Jose Abreu would hit his second home run of the ballgame in the top of the eighth inning, pushing the White Sox lead back to two runs as the White Sox led 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. In the bottom of the eighth inning Tommy Kahnle tossed a perfect inning of relief, striking out the side for the Sox.
David Robertson, who entered the game 5/5 in save opportunities this season, started off the ninth inning by allowing a solo home run to Victor Martinez, to cut the Sox lead down to just one at 4-3. After striking out Justin Upton to record the first out, Robertson allowed a double to Justin Hicks, putting the tying run at second base for the Tigers, to set the stage for Alex Avila to knock in the game tying run for Detroit, marking the first blown save of the season for Robertson. Robertson would get the final two outs to hold the game tied at 4-4 heading into extra innings.
In the top of the tenth inning Melky Cabrera hit a solo home run to put the Sox back in front 5-4 over the Tigers. After Jose Abreu drew his second walk of the game, pinch-runner Yolmer Sanchez scored from first base on a deep RBI-triple by Avisail Garcia to push the White Sox lead to 6-4.
David Robertson stayed in the game in the bottom of the tenth inning for the White Sox, and this time Robertson was able to hold onto a two-run lead against the Tigers hitters to secure the White Sox sixth consecutive victory, and their second consecutive series victory.
Jose Abreu: 2-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Derek Holland: 6.1 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 4 K, 2 BB
Justin Upton: 1-2, RBI, BB
Victor Martinez: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI
Despite a questionable strike zone, and limited offense behind him, Derek Holland was solid once again, turning in 6.1 innings of work and leaving in-line for his third victory of the season after allowing two runs on five hits to a very good Tigers offense. Anthony Swarzak and Tommy Kahnle were excellent in relief of Holland, handing a 4-2 lead over to David Robertson in the ninth. Unfortunately, Robertson was charged with his first blown save of the season as the Tigers tied the game in the ninth.
Jose Abreu continued to stay hot, knocking two balls out of the park and drawing two walks, marking his fifth consecutive multi-hit performance after a very cold start to the season.
As I mentioned above, David Robertson was charged with his first blown save of the season on Saturday afternoon, coughing up a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The White Sox (13-9) and the Tigers (11-12) will be back in action on Sunday afternoon to wrap up their three game series at Comerica Park in the Motor City. Miguel Gonzalez (3-0, 2.00 ERA) gets the ball for the White Sox, and will be opposed by Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 6.35 ERA).
First Pitch: 12:10 pm (CT)