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Go ahead and take a moment to look at the AL Central standings. When you glanced at the Detroit Tigers being one game under .500 and just 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for first place you might have asked yourself, “How the hell is this happening?” Well, you can thank the Chicago White Sox for being a significant contributor to the Tigers surprising first-half success.
James Shields allowed a two-run homer to Nick Castellanos in the first inning was the game-winning blow, and the Sox offense continues to struggle in a 3-1 loss. The White Sox are now 1-8 against Detroit and winless in six home games against them. Mercifully, the Tigers don’t come back to Guaranteed Rate Field until September 3rd.
There were a couple of good things that happened today. Matt Davidson hit his 12th home run to lead all White Sox hitters again in that category. It was a solo shot in the second inning to make it 2-1. Despite giving up the blast to Castellanos, Shields managed to pitch six innings only allowing three earned runs. The type of performance you take from the crafty veteran every outing. Also, the bullpen continues it’s stellar play with Luis Avilan, Chris Volstad, and Hector Santiago combining to throw three scoreless innings.
Perhaps the most fun play was in the third inning. With runners on second and third, Shields got Jeimer Candelario to ground sharply to back to him at the mound. For the first out, Shields ran directly at JaCoby Jones who was at third to freeze him and tossed it over to Sanchez. Running towards home, Sanchez made one throw to Kevan Smith who tagged Jones out, and then threw out Candelario at second base as he was trying to advance during the rundown. Just your old fashion 1-5-2-4 double play.
Tim Anderson hit a ball hard in the sixth when he took a fastball on the outside corner to deep right center. On replay, it didn’t look like it had enough juice to be a home run, but Leonys Martin robbed Anderson of at least a double with a nice catch into the fence. Oh, and Yoan Moncada hit a single from the right side.
Why the White Sox lost today despite having nine hits is not being able to get that base knock with runners in scoring position with two outs. Maybe one day they’ll figure that out, but it appeared to be this weekend’s theme as it impacted how the previous two games played out. When Kevan Smith and Omar Narvaez are having the best hitting performances in June, that’s pretty telling why the offense is sputtering.
Record: 24-46 | Box Score