Davidson caps late heroics with walk-off blast

Palka ties it with homer in 9th; Lopez allows 1 run, K's 6 over 7 innings

September 3rd, 2018

CHICAGO -- Here's a surefire formula to follow for winning baseball:
Begin with quality starting pitching, add in airtight defense and reliable late-inning relief, and mix in the right amount of clutch hitting. It worked again for the White Sox on Monday in a 4-2 walk-off victory over the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field. It has worked for a while now, as the White Sox (56-82) tooke sole possession of third place in the American League Central, improving to 8-3 in their last 11 and 19-12 in their last 31.
Matt Davidson struck the deciding blow Monday as he connected off of Detroit closer (2-6) for a two-run, game-ending home run to left, giving him at least 20 home runs for a second straight season. Clearly, the first baseman/third baseman/designated hitter, who has made three scoreless relief appearances this season, can do more than pitch.
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"Those are always really special and I'm glad we got the win today," said Davidson, whose home run followed a single and brought home pinch-runner in his Major League debut.
"[Davidson]'s been working very hard and trying to cover a larger part of the zone, up and down," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Getting on top of a few more balls that are in the upper area of the strike zone as opposed to being a swing and a miss. He's now putting some good swings on and actually making contact with those pitches."
gave the Tigers (55-83) a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth when he homered off of (2-2). But that lead didn't last long, as opened the ninth with his 21st home run to left.

Palka now has a Major League-leading six home runs in the ninth inning during the 2018 season.
"Right spot, right time for me to be doing good," Palka said. "It's just funny, man. I'll take a pitch during an at-bat where I'll see a couple pitches, and I just feel like it all clicks. And that was that.
White Sox starter put together his third straight quality start, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings. He struck out six and didn't issue a walk on 98 pitches. Lopez also topped out at 97.6 mph on his fastball, per Statcast™, while recording 11 swinging strikes, five off of his 29 changeups thrown.

"It was a very good outing, probably one of the best of the season," said Lopez through interpreter Billy Russo. "The last couple of outings, I've been trying to mix a little bit more of my pitches, trying to throw more of the changeup, curveball, slider. Using my fastball, of course. But I've been feeling very confident and comfortable with all my pitches."
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Detroit's lone run off Lopez came via Niko Goodrum's home run leading off the seventh. It was a drive to right-center barely eluding the leaping effort of , who already has taken away three home runs this season. The White Sox scored on the first pitch they saw, as Nicky Delmonico homered against , but they didn't produce another hit until 's two-out double in the seventh. Anderson also made a sparkling defensive play in the fifth inning.

They saved their best for last, courtesy of Palka and Davidson.
"Whenever you win, winning cures pretty much everything," Davidson said. "You know late August and September can be long, so when you win it's a lot of fun. It makes the days go by a little bit quicker, and we are just enjoying it."

Beware of baseball: Everyone knows Palka consistently hits the ball with authority, and Fulmer's right shin found out first hand on Monday. Palka's grounder, hit with an exit velocity of 115.6 mph per Statcast™, knocked Fulmer from the game with one out in the sixth.

"I couldn't feel anything. It was numb and kinda throbbing a little bit, but now it's just stiff," Fulmer said. "It's been better, but it's also been worse, so I'm happy it wasn't too bad."
A first for Hamilton:Ian Hamilton, the No. 16 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, recorded his first career strikeout by getting in the 8th. He fanned two over 1 1/3 perfect innings.

• Palka now ranks second for most home runs by a left-handed hitting White Sox rookie with 21. Pete Ward hit 22 in 1963.
reached base in a career-high 22nd straight game. The all-time White Sox record belongs to Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, who reached base in 57 straight across the 1995 and '96 seasons. Hall of Famer Luke Appling holds the single-season White Sox record by reaching base in 53 straight games in '36.
"Anywhere. Anywhere they need me to play. I'm going to work to be the best I can be there. Shortstop. Second base. I've got five Minor League innings at second base. So if I need to do that, I will." -- Palka, on being willing to play anywhere defensively to be part of the White Sox moving forward
Right-hander (10-9, 5.66 ERA) is scheduled to make his 28th start of 2018, 13th at home and sixth career against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. Giolito is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a .191 opponents' average over his last four starts. He received a no-decision in his last start on Aug. 30 vs. Boston after allowing one run on two hits, with a season-high-tying eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. The Tigers will send out for the 7:10 p.m. CT start at Guaranteed Rate Field.