CHICAGO -- What began as a battle between two former Tigers top prospects and continued with two pitchers named Fulmer fell back on the usual Miguel Cabrera clutch hit. His two-run single in the seventh inning put Detroit ahead for good in a back-and-forth battle at U.S. Cellular Field, taking
CHICAGO -- What began as a battle between two former Tigers top prospects and continued with two pitchers named Fulmer fell back on the usual Miguel Cabrera clutch hit. His two-run single in the seventh inning put Detroit ahead for good in a back-and-forth battle at U.S. Cellular Field, taking a 7-5 win over the White Sox Friday night.
Detroit had a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning, having battled former first-round pick Jacob Turner for 101 pitches over 3 1/3 nnings, before Justin Morneau's three-run homer powered a four-run fifth -- the largest inning off Tigers rookie starter Michael Fulmer this season -- to put Chicago in front. More >
White Sox top pick Carson Fulmer was Chicago's fourth reliever of the night when he took the mound for the seventh, but two walks and a single loaded the bases with nobody out. A pair of fielder's choice grounders tied the game but kept the Tigers flustered until Cabrera delivered his 1,500th and 1,501st RBIs with a ground ball through the middle off Nate Jones.
"We were trying to find a way to bridge that from the sixth to the seventh there, so we could get to [Jones] and [closer David Robertson]," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "This is the first time [Fulmer's] been erratic like that. He was fighting through to get there and then by the time it got to [Cabrera], I went with [Jones] to see if we could get out of that one."
Cabrera became the eighth player to reach 400 home runs and 1,500 RBIs within the first 14 seasons of his career.
"That's why I love this team," Michael Fulmer said. "They never give up. Obviously I had a three-run lead going into the fifth and I gave up four runs. It's easy to kind of shut down from there, but this team, they always fight, and the bullpen did a fantastic job putting up zeros the rest of the game. Ultimately, this offense is going to come through."
Kyle Ryan (4-2) earned the win in relief with a hitless sixth inning. Francisco Rodríguez got the save. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Castellanos battles Turner for nine pitches: Nine of the pitches the Tigers sapped out of Turner came against Nick Castellanos, who fouled off three breaking balls with two strikes to keep his at-bat going with a runner on third and nobody out in the fourth. He capitalized on a 3-2 fastball and sent a ground ball through the middle for an RBI single and a 4-1 lead.
Jose heating up: Chicago's José Abreu, who went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, came into the game hitting just .200 since the All-Star break (5-for-25). He was instrumental in the White Sox's five runs off Detroit's Fulmer. After driving in the game's first run with a single in the first, the Cuban-born slugger hit a clutch two-out double to pull Chicago within 4-2 in the fifth. He also scored when Morneau put the White Sox up 5-4 with his three-run homer to right in the ensuing at-bat.
"That bat speed, it looks like he's got a quick bat," Ventura said. "He's been able to get to the inside pitches well."
Cabrera makes White Sox pay: Cabrera had been in an 8-for-44 stretch before he lined a single in his last at-bat Tuesday night against the Twins. He's 9-for-12 since, including six hits and a walk through two games of this series. Ventura tried to cool him in the seventh by bringing on hard-throwing Jones to face him with the bases loaded and the game tied. Cabrera, 2-for-12 off Jones previously and 0-for-9 with the bases loaded this season, fell into an 0-2 count before shrugging off two sliders and sending a fastball back through the middle for the go-ahead runs.
"I know a lot of people, when a player goes into a funk, want to write him off," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "But you have to remember the resume that he carries. He's been doing it for a long time. It was just a matter of time before he started getting hits."
Kung-Fu grip:Tyler Saladino, who has a Fu Manchu mustache, talked about his love for Kung Fu icon Bruce Lee before the game. Then, with two outs in the second, he broke out his own Kung Fu moves to get speedy Tigers shortstop José Iglesias for the third out. Saladino fielded a sharp grounder in shallow right field by sliding, then quickly turned to throw a bouncing ball to first, just before falling on his stomach.
"I never really even got up," Saladino said. "I was going back down as soon as I was trying to come back up. I just went to get up and that grass was wet. I just got it off before I was going to fall and couldn't make a throw."
"You could have a worse locker. You could have worse locker mates. You could be put in the corner. You could be by the bathroom, as well." -- White Sox manager Ventura, on rookie Carson Fulmer's locker being located between Chris Sale's and Carlos Rodón's
"We have another game tomorrow. We have to be ready tomorrow and see what happens. One game, you struggle. Another game, you don't struggle. It's baseball." -- Cabrera
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Prior to this season, it had been 127 years since a player named "Fulmer" played in the Major Leagues. Chris Fulmer, a catcher and outfielder for Baltimore in the former American Association, played from 1884 to 1889. This season, the Tigers and White Sox each have rookie Fulmers who've made their Major League debuts: Michael Fulmer for Detroit and Carson Fulmer for Chicago.
White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton left the game in the eighth inning with a sore foot, after fouling a ball off it earlier in the game. Avisaíl García replaced him in right field.
"He fouled the ball off his foot and it just got to the point where having him in the outfield was going to be difficult for him to go after any balls," Ventura said. "For him to come out of a game, he doesn't do that very often."
Tigers:Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.91), who broke away from his fly-ball tendencies to induce seven groundouts and seven strikeouts against the Twins on Monday, will try to pound White Sox hitters into the ground Saturday night on what is expected to be another hot night in Chicago as the series continues with a 7:10 p.m. ET game at U.S. Cellular Field.
White Sox: Chris Sale will make his first start since having a dominant performance against the Mariners on Monday spoiled by closer David Robertson's rough ninth inning. Sale held Seattle scoreless on one hit in eight innings, leaving with a 3-0 lead. Sale is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA in two starts against Detroit this season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CT.
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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002.
Brian Hedger is a contributor for MLB.com based in Chicago.