CHICAGO -- The White Sox 7-5 loss to the Tigers on Saturday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field can be aptly summed up on one play in the top of the eighth inning.With the game tied at 5, Tigers left fielder JaCoby Jones came to bat with two on and nobody
CHICAGO -- The White Sox 7-5 loss to the Tigers on Saturday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field can be aptly summed up on one play in the top of the eighth inning.
With the game tied at 5, Tigers left fielder JaCoby Jones came to bat with two on and nobody out looking to lay down a sacrifice bunt. On Bruce Rondon's first pitch, Jones popped up the bunt attempt about 15 feet in front of home plate, but high enough that Rondon could make a diving try to catch the ball. Rondon laid out in a full extension and had the ball in his glove, but it trickled out when he landed, allowing everyone to reach safely.
"Sometimes, balls find holes," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "In this particular instance, they had a couple of good bounces that gave them an opportunity to score a few more runs."
The Tigers scored two runs in the frame to go ahead for good. The White Sox, on the other hand, missed an opportunity by that much.
Detroit's eighth-inning rally erased what would have been a feel-good victory for the South Siders, as the White Sox came back from a five-run deficit after Nicholas Castellanos took starter Lucas Giolito deep twice -- a three-run homer in the third, and a two-run shot in the fifth.
"Two bad pitches to a really good hitter. Kind of did me in for the game right there," Giolito said. "I left a fastball up over the middle and then hung a slider, those two pitches got me today."
After Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann retired the first 12 batters he faced, the White Sox began the fifth inning with four consecutive hits, including an RBI double from Tim Anderson and two-run single from Charlie Tilson. Tilson later scored on Trayce Thompson's sacrifice fly to bring the White Sox to within a run.
Chicago tied it in the sixth thanks to Yolmer Sanchez's MLB-leading eighth triple and Jose Abreu's sacrifice fly.
"We've got a lead 5-0, and then Zim got in trouble," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Gotta recognize a little quicker that they're swinging at the first pitch. We didn't make an adjustment there. You've gotta stop it. They're jumping him early, and he ends up giving up four runs, then they tie the ballgame up, and here it is a dogfight."
But the comeback magic was undone in the eighth, thanks to Jose Iglesias's shift-beating infield single and a bases-loaded walk issued by Rondon.
Giolito, who entered Saturday with the highest ERA in the Majors (minimum 60 innings), had one of his better starts and was more a victim of poor luck than anything. He only walked two batters, but both came with two outs right before both of Castellanos' home runs. As Giolito progresses during the White Sox rebuild, he recognizes that finishing innings can sometimes prove difficult for him.
"That's been biting me the past few starts for sure," Giolito said. "It's really important, after you get two quick outs, to maintain that same intensity to the next batter and make sure you can get back in the dugout as soon as possible."
But, as Renteria said, the only way for a young pitcher to learn is to pitch, and keep pitching.
"There's no other way of doing it," Renteria said. "You've got to be in the fire, you've got to experience that."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Rare miss by Abreu: The White Sox had a chance to take the lead in the seventh that they could not have scripted better, when Abreu came to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Tigers reliever Buck Farmer had just walked the previous two hitters, and appeared shaken as pitching coach Chris Bosio came out for a meeting. Abreu whiffed on Farmer's first two pitches and ultimately grounded out to third baseman Jeimer Candelario, who stepped on the bag for the forceout.
Tilson extended his hitting streak to seven games with his 1-for-4 effort Saturday. Over the course of the streak, Tilson is 8-for-19 (a .421 average) with a triple and three RBIs. He's also hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games.
HE SAID IT
"Looking back on the game, curveball was pretty good. Slider was decent. I'd say I could have thrown the changeup more. I threw the changeup later in the game, and it was a really good pitch for swings and misses. Keeping them off fastballs, next time I'll think about mixing the changeup more often. But feel for the curveball is definitely getting better." -- Giolito
The White Sox wrap up their series with the Tigers on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT and send James Shields (2-7, 4.63 ERA) to the hill. Shields turned in another solid outing last time out against the Indians, allowing just one run on four hits in seven strong innings for his first win since Opening Day. He'll oppose left-hander Blaine Hardy (2-1, 3.55), who held Chicago to one run on three hits over seven innings for the win on May 27.
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.