CHICAGO -- Much like the rain that fell on Wednesday night, once the Tigers started hitting the ball, they didn't let up.
Facing heralded White Sox rookie Michael Kopech, Detroit piled up four home runs -- including three during a six-run fourth inning -- to provide Jordan Zimmermann with a comfortable cushion en route to a 10-2 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.
"We just hit the ball all over the field, and we had a lot of guys with some big hits," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It was just one of those nights -- raining ugly out there, and somehow or another, we got hits."
Michael Mahtook homered for the second consecutive night and the seventh time in his past 18 games to spark the offensive barrage in the fourth. Ronny Rodriguez added a two-run shot before JaCoby Jones followed with another solo home run to go along with a Jim Adduci RBI double and a run-scoring single from Nicholas Castellanos.
Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario gave Zimmermann an early lead with a leadoff homer in the first. Detroit added to its advantage in the sixth when Victor Martinez singled home a pair of runs with the bases loaded after Candelario and Adduci singled and Castellanos walked - all with just one out. James McCann pushed the lead to 10-0 with an RBI single before White Sox reliever Jose Ruiz finally pitched out of the jam by striking out Rodriguez and Jones.
Zimmermann, unaffected by a pair of rain delays totaling 61 minutes, shut down the White Sox on just two hits over five scoreless innings. Zimmermann struck out three and walked one before departing after throwing 67 pitches.
Gardenhire admitted to feeling nervous about sending Zimmermann back out following the second rain delay, which lasted 33 minutes. But after struggling in his previous four starts against the White Sox this season, Zimmermann zeroed in and kept Chicago hitters guessing all night.
"[I was] just making better pitches," he said. "I had pretty good stuff tonight. I just made sure when I got to 0-2 or 1-2, the ball was out of the zone. I was able to get to those counts quite often and make them hit my pitch."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Following the second rain delay when it appeared heavy rains were coming soon, Zimmermann worked through the bottom of the fifth inning quickly and needed just eight pitches to get an official game in the books. Despite the forecast, the rains stayed away the rest of the night.
"It was actually a grind of a game for me," he said. "Two rain delays, and we had that really long [fourth] inning, when we got all those runs. It's tough. I like quick innings -- boom, boom, boom, give me a couple of home runs and get me back out there ... but it was actually more taxing on me than anything to get back out there and try to stay in a rhythm."
HE SAID IT
"All of a sudden, they said, 'It's going to pour here pretty quick,' and we're just trying to play through the innings. They said all of a sudden, it just stopped. I don't know -- I think the computers went crazy." -- Gardenhire on the on-again, off-again rain forecast
After an off-day Thursday, the Tigers will open a three-game series against the Cardinals at 7:10 p.m. ET. Daniel Norris (0-3, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound for the Tigers and will make his second start since returning from groin surgery. Norris allowed two earned runs over 4 1/3 innings in his last outing, against the Yankees, before departing with calf cramps. He will face Austin Gomber (5-0, 2.77).