DETROIT (AP) — The Chicago White Sox came to Detroit on Monday with baseball’s third-worst offense.
According to Fox Sports Detroit, the White Sox became the first major league team since at least 1974 to put a runner on base in every inning of a four-game series. They scored 26 runs and won three times, including an 8-1 rout on Wednesday.
“We had a lot of guys come through for us again today,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “That’s what has been happening in the last few games and we’ve really needed it.”
The streak almost came to a halt in the ninth inning when Tigers first baseman Brandon Dixon retired the first two batters before hitting Ryan Cordell with a 60-mph cutter. Leury García followed with an inning-ending groundout.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire thought the constant base traffic hurt his defense.
“Obviously, a lot of that is on the pitchers, but we also weren’t making plays behind them,” he said. “There were a ton of pitches being thrown and that means the defense is just standing around. That’s when they lose focus and make mistakes.”
Gardenhire acknowledged his team was worn out after a series that saw four games played in less than 48 hours, including a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday that didn’t end until after 11 p.m.
“We had a tough road trip and then we came right home to this,” he said. “It’s not an excuse — the White Sox played the same four games — but we weren’t very good today.”
White Sox catcher James McCann agreed with Gardenhire.
“I don’t think there’s one guy in here who isn’t at least a little tired,” McCann said. “Just being at the ballpark that long yesterday and then getting an early-morning wake-up call was tough.”
Ivan Nova shut the Tigers out for eight innings, allowing five hits, walking three and striking out one as he picked up his third win in four starts.
“I knew I had to give my team a good start today, because four games in three days isn’t much fun,” he said. “I’m not a big strikeout guy, but I know they chase a lot, and I was able to get a lot of groundballs.”
McCann had three RBIs, while Tim Anderson reached base five times and scored three runs.
Detroit has lost six of seven and is 5-21 since the All-Star break. The Tigers rank last in the majors in scoring and, at .292, are two points behind the 2014 San Diego Padres for the worst on-base percentage in the 21st century.
“Look what happened today,” Gardenhire said. “He got ahead in the count and moved the ball around, and all we did was make some weak contact.”
Tyler Alexander (0-3) allowed five runs on nine hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. After the bullpen allowed three more runs, Gardenhire did something he hates — giving the ball to a position player.
Dixon, who was pitching to rookie Jake Rogers, has a 5.40 ERA in four pitching appearances over the past two seasons.
“I asked him what he threw and he said a cutter and a change, so I told him to attack the zone,” Rogers said. “I did use signs, but it was a one on every pitch.”
McCann had an RBI double in the first, and Ryan Cordell made it 2-0 with a long homer in the second.
Detroit loaded the bases with one out in the second, but Nova got Jody Mercer to ground into a double play.
Wellington Castillo had an RBI double in the third, and the White Sox added on in the fifth. Anderson led off with his third hit of the game and scored his third run on José Abreu’s double. McCann added an RBI single to make it 5-0 and end Alexander’s day.
Abreu’s single off Eduardo Jiménez in the sixth gave the White Sox a 6-0 lead, and Chicago added two more in the eighth. Travis Demeritte provided Detroit’s only run with a two-out RBI triple in the ninth.
White Sox: RHP Kelvin Herrera (oblique) threw a scoreless inning Tuesday night in his second rehab game for Triple-A Charlotte.
Tigers: 2B Josh Harrison (hamstring) and LF Christin Stewart (concussion) both made rehab appearances for Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday. Harrison went 1-3 in his fifth game, while Stewart was 0-4 in his first game.
After the game, the Tigers designated reliever Trevor Rosenthal for assignment and optioned Jiménez to Triple-A Toledo. They will announce corresponding moves on Thursday. Detroit is the second team to cut Rosenthal loose this season — the Washington Nationals released him and are paying most of his $7 million salary.
The White Sox start a three-game series at home against the Oakland Athletics on Friday, with Ross Detwiler (1-2, 5.72 ERA) opposing Oakland’s Mike Fiers (10-3, 3.46). The Tigers start a four-game weekend home series with the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, with Matthew Boyd (6-8, 3.91) facing a Royals pitcher still to be announced.
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