CHICAGO (AP) — Though a hip injury knocked him out of the game, a stirring comeback lifted Miguel Cabrera’s spirits.
Niko Goodrum hit his first major league homer after replacing Cabrera early in the game, and the Detroit Tigers rallied to beat the White Sox 9-7 in 10 innings to spoil Chicago’s chilly and snowy home opener Thursday.
“I was kind of nervous, because when you don’t play and you watch, you feel a lot of excitement, you know?” Cabrera said. “When you’re in the field, you react. When you watch the game, you feel like you can’t do anything. It was fun to watch the guys. I feel proud of my team.”
The two-time AL MVP jammed his hip when he tripped and fell rounding first on a single in the first inning. It tightened up when he played the field, and Goodrum replaced him at first base in the second inning.
Things didn’t get much better for the Tigers until the game was just about over. But trailing 7-4 in the ninth and down to their last strike twice, they turned it around in a hurry.
Goodrum drove a 3-2 fastball from Joakim Soria just over the wall in right-center to cut the lead to one. Nicholas Castellanos singled and Victor Martinez tied it with an RBI double that got past left fielder Leury Garcia.
Mikie Mahtook singled leading off the 10th against Gregory Infante (0-1) and Jose Iglesias walked. One out later, Mahtook scored from third on a roller toward second by Leonys Martin that was hit too slowly to turn a double play, resulting in a forceout. Jeimer Candelario followed with an RBI single to make it 9-7.
Shane Greene escaped a jam in the bottom half to earn his first save. He retired the first two batters before walking Omar Narvaez and hitting Nicky Delmonico, but struck out Yoan Moncada to end the game.
Castellanos and Martinez each had three hits. Goodrum had two after replacing Cabrera at first base in the second inning.
Joe Jimenez (1-0) got his first major league win with a scoreless inning in relief, and the Tigers came out on top even though Jordan Zimmermann struggled. The right-hander gave up six runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, but the Tigers improved to 2-4.
Yolmer Sanchez had three hits and three RBIs for Chicago, while Matt Davidson scored four runs. James Shields gave up three runs and eight hits in five innings.
“It’s a bummer,” Davidson said. “It’s a bummer for the fans too, you know, opening day, but we’re a good team and we’ll bounce back.”
“Once it went over (the bench), it hit me, you know? When I hit it, I was thinking double, then the wind (blew it) ... That’s why I was just making the most of it, hauling for a double or triple. I was just going. I didn’t know if it was clearing or not.” — Goodrum on his first major league homer.
Tigers: Cabrera said he was feeling better afterward and that the off day on Friday should help. ... Manager Ron Gardenhire said there is a “possibility” that RHP Mike Fiers (lumbar strain) starts on Sunday. Fiers threw around 80 pitches Monday at the team’s spring training facility in Florida. If Fiers returns in the next few days, LHP Daniel Norris would likely be sent to Triple-A Toledo to get regular work. ... The Tigers reinstated RHP Johnny Barbato from the 10-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple A Toledo.
White Sox: The White Sox expect prized OF prospect Eloy Jimenez (mild pectoral strain) to play a few extended spring training games next week before rejoining Double-A Birmingham, GM Rick Hahn said. Jimenez was injured lifting weights at the team’s spring training facility in Arizona last week.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer (0-1, 1.13) hopes for a better result Saturday after taking a tough-luck loss in his first start. He held Pittsburgh to a run on four hits over eight innings in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday. But the Tigers lost 1-0.
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (0-0, 4.50 ERA) starts for Chicago on Saturday. He went six innings at Kansas City last week, allowing three runs and four hits.