The White Sox started a pitcher Tuesday night who came into the game with a 9.61 ERA, with more walks than strikeouts, and who had more than a third of the hits he had allowed leave the ballpark entirely.
There was good reason to expect the Sox would allow a garish run total to a fearsome Detroit offense with Anthony Ranaudo on the hill, and eventually they brought that expectation into reality.
1. Things certainly looked bright to start. Todd Frazier turned on a Daniel Norris fastball and ripped a two-run shot to left field in the second, and the bottom of the order kept the line moving as Omar Narvaez drew a walk–as he is wont to do–moved to third as Tyler Saladino stayed hot and doubled to center. An Adam Eaton groundout staked Ranaudo to an early 3-0 lead even as the rally fizzled.
2. Other than pitching over a one-out J.D. Martinez double and a walk to keep the Tigers scoreless, Ranaudo went unchallenged through four innings. After walking Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the second time on the night, Ranaudo was one out from escaping the fifth until Ian Kinsler tracked and cracked a sinking curveball to left-center to bring the Tigers within a run. Back-to-back singles from Tyler Collins and Miguel Cabrera brought Victor Martinez a chance to break the game open, but instead he gave the Tigers their third popup of the inning.
3. Not content to count their blessings, the Sox brought out Ranaudo for a sixth inning of work, which was immediately ended by Martinez serving a leadoff double to left.
It’s not as if the Sox bullpen is full of studs anymore these days, and the veteran Matt Albers, who has scuffled to a 7.50 ERA since the beginning of May while allowing an OPS over 1.000, certainly is not part of their upper echelon.
Nevertheless Albers was brought into the crisis, and swiftly yielded a game-tying single squared up the middle by Justin Upton, gave Saltalamacchia his third walk of the game, and watched as Jacoby Jones–making his major league debut–tracked his sinker and flipped it to right to put the Tigers ahead for good. A discerning reader can probably pick out the multiple incidences of Sox pitchers being unable to get misses on their breaking stuff at this point. It was an issue.
Kinsler pushed the Tigers out to a 6-3 lead with a two-run single to left, as Jacob Turner grimly trudged through the last eight outs of the game, allowing a Martinez solo shot and another run-scoring single to Jones in the seventh to really cap off the rookie’s night.
4. Eaton was the offensive star of the night, reaching base four times, and driving in a run on his only out of the game, but the Sox went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, which excused a shaky five-inning night for Norris.
Team Record: 63-68
Next game is Wednesday at Detroit on CSN at 12:10pm CT
Lead Image Credit: Rick Osentoski // USA Today Sports Images