First-place Tigers rally in 9th to edge ChiSox

BY foxsports • June 9, 2009

Brandon Inge delivered for the Detroit Tigers after another display of sloppy baseball from the Chicago White Sox, one that left manager Ozzie Guillen fuming.

After a costly Chicago error and an infield hit, Inge singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth inning as the Tigers beat the White Sox 5-4 in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Monday.

"I was basically just trying not to strike out," Inge said. "I'm trying to put it in play. I'm trying to make something happen."

Miguel Cabrera reached on third baseman Josh Fields' error with one out. Marcus Thames followed with an infield single off shortstop Alexei Ramirez's glove.

Inge then grounded a single into left field off Scott Linebrink (2-3), scoring pinch-runner Josh Anderson from second base.

The fielding gaffe in the ninth wasn't what had Guillen stewing after his team's sixth loss in seven games. He was more upset about his team's inability to move runners and get down bunts.

""If this was the 1980s, (none) of these guys would be in the big leagues right now, because if you hit .210-.230 and you can't execute, I don't think you should be out here," Guillen said.

"When you can't bunt, hit-and-run, squeeze and move the guy over, you better hit 40 home runs and drive in 140."

He didn't name names, but the White Sox manager was visibly upset.

"Somebody has to change because if we don't do what we're supposed to do, I'll take the blame because that's my job," Guillen said.

"In the meanwhile, if anyone watched from the first day of the season to right now, I will look myself in the mirror and figure out who's fault it is. We're not doing it. We got excited here and there. After that, it was a boring game. Really, really, really bad baseball games. Terrible the way the guys played the game."

Fernando Rodney worked the ninth for his 11th save in as many chances for the AL Central leaders with Inge starting a game-ending double play at third.

"The infield was getting kind of choppy. I don't know if they were setting it up for rain," Inge said. "It gets kind of rocky at times from the course of the game, gets kind of chewed up a little bit. I actually was watching and though that might have been what happened to Josh Fields. He kind of got it in between hops."

Fields, whose playing time could be cut with the arrival of rookie Gordon Beckham, offered no excuses.

"It was just a ball we work on all the time," he said. "You are supposed to field with your glove and transfer it over. I tried to go with both hands and that's where you get the bobble."

Paul Konerko led off the bottom of the eighth against Joel Zumaya (3-0) with his eighth homer, a line shot over the fence in left that tied it at 4.

Detroit starter Armando Galarraga, looking to snap a six-game losing streak, went 6 2-3 innings. He allowed seven hits, including a two-run homer by Jermaine Dye, and left with a 4-3 lead.

Curtis Granderson's RBI single off Chicago reliever D.J. Carrasco in the sixth put the Tigers ahead 4-3. Dye's 15th homer made it 3-all.

Chicago starter Clayton Richard lost his control in the fifth with two outs. Magglio Ordonez singled before Richard walked three straight batters, including Inge to force in a run, and put Detroit ahead 3-1.

Konerko's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the first following two walks and a leadoff single by Scott Podsednik gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead.

But the Tigers got it back quickly in the second against Richard. After Dye leaped high against the fence in right-center field to take a potential home run away from Thames, Inge doubled. A walk and wild pitch put runners at the corners before Adam Everett hit an RBI single and Dane Sardinha had a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead.


The doubleheader was scheduled to make up a May 6 rainout. Tigers manager Jim Leyland has no problem with a split twinbill. "Is it a long day? Yes, it's a long day, but we get paid pretty good," Leyland said. "It's how we get paid and I'm all for that." .... Both teams were expected to make roster moves between games to clear space for the Game 2 starters - Jose Contreras for Chicago and Jeremy Bonderman for the Tigers.