The Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox with bouncers and dribblers, and the victory wasn’t any less satisfying.
Detroit tied the game against Bobby Jenks in the ninth inning, then won it 4-3 off D.J. Carrasco in the 10th – all without hitting a single ball hard.
That was certainly true of Carlos Guillen‘s winning single – a slow bouncer up the middle that just eluded White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Clete Thomas scored from second, easily beating DeWayne Wise‘s throw to the plate.
“When I hit it, I knew it was going to get over the mound, and I thought it had a good chance of getting through,” Guillen said. “That’s a fun way to win.”
Guillen was playing his third game since coming off the disabled list before Friday’s doubleheader. He had been out since early May with shoulder problems.
“I’m excited to be back, and I’m happy that I’m helping us win,” said Guillen, who had two hits and two RBIs.
Detroit trailed 3-2 going into the ninth, and Jenks struck out Ryan Raburn to start the inning. Brandon Inge and pinch-hitter Marcus Thames singled, putting runners on the corners, but Ramon Santiago popped out.
Curtis Granderson then grounded a tying double just inside the first-base bag, but Jenks retired Placido Polanco to send the game into extras.
“Bobby was pitching good, but they hit a couple bloopers and then a ground ball in the right place at the right time,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Not much you can do about that.”
Jenks has a 9.45 ERA in his last six outings, and has now blown back-to-back save opportunities.
“I’m not even mad about this one,” he said. “The way things had gone in the last week, we had worked on stuff mechanically, and we got the little kinks worked out. Tonight, everything was sharp, but I got beat on bloopers and a ball that was fair for maybe 2 seconds.”
After Fernando Rodney (1-2) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th, Thomas led off the 10th with a base hit off Carrasco (3-1) and took second on Miguel Cabrera‘s bloop single.
“You really couldn’t see because of the shadows, so we were just doing the best we could,” Thomas said. “I don’t know how Curtis even saw the pitch he hit, much less did anything with it.”
Guillen fouled off a 2-2 pitch before hitting his chopper up the middle to give the Tigers three wins over Chicago in two days.
“We had a great, sold-out crowd today, and we sent them home happy,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “If we pitch well tomorrow, we’ll get momentum from this. If we don’t, we won’t.”
Ozzie Guillen jokingly blamed the sudden losing streak on Mark Buerhle’s perfect game Thursday.
“When he pitched his last no-hitter in 2007, we lost five in a row, and now we’ve lost three,” he said. “Mark Buerhle, this is all your fault.”
Chicago starter Gavin Floyd allowed two runs – one earned – in 6 2-3 innings, while Detroit’s Edwin Jackson gave up three runs in seven innings.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Cabrera’s RBI single and a run-scoring groundout by Guillen, but didn’t get another runner in scoring position until Gerald Laird‘s seventh-inning double.
A.J. Pierzynski‘s second-inning homer brought Chicago within 2-1, and they took the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth.
Chris Getz led off with a single and scored on Gordon Beckham‘s double. Scott Podsednik followed with an RBI single to make it 3-2.
The Tigers offically purchased the contract of reliever Casey Fien from Triple-A Toledo on Saturday. The team had announced the move Friday after optioning RHP Eddie Bonine back to Toledo. … Jackson had a quality start for the seventh straight game, the longest streak of his career. … Detroit hadn’t won an extra-inning game at home in over a year. They were 0-3 since beating the Cardinals on June 26, 2008. … Getz stole second in the sixth inning, his 11th straight steal without being caught.