White Sox 4, Tigers 2: One dinger plus one dinger equals third place

Daniel Palka ties it and Matt Davidson wins it as White Sox slip ahead of Detroit

The White Sox own sole possession of third place in the AL Central.

And how?

After coming up with just two hits over the first eight innings, they opened — and closed — the ninth with three straight hits. Daniel Palka started the ninth by flipping a 2-2 outer-half fastball from Shane Greene over the wall the opposite way to tie the game, and the Sox didn’t settle. Welington Castillo also worked a six-pitch at-bat shooting a fastball through the right side. Ryan Cordell’s MLB debut occurred as a pinch runner for Castillo, but he’d only have to trot home, because Matt Davidson jumped all over a first-pitch slider and put it into the Sox bullpen for the walk-off homer.

If you only saw the path of the fly ball, you might’ve been holding your breath. If you trusted Davidson’s triumphant raised finger as he ran toward first base, you started celebrating early.

Yolmer Sanchez certainly did. He once again soaked himself in fruit punch Gatorade while running across Davidson’s path toward home plate.

It was a shocking turnaround considering Nicky Delmonico homered on the first pitch of the game, and it was the only hit and run Michael Fulmer allowed. Fulmer did issue four walks over 5⅔ innings. The inefficiency elevated his pitch count to 96, so when Palka’s screaming 116-mph line drive to Fulmer’s shin knocked the starter out of the game, it only cost the Tigers maybe a couple of outs from their starter.

The Sox didn’t hit safely again until Tim Anderson doubled off Blaine Hardy in the seventh.

That gave Reynaldo Lopez the slimmest of margins, and he successfully carried it through six innings. He stranded a leadoff single in the first and a one-out triple in the third, but otherwise faced very little in the way of stress.

But all it took was one grooved 1-0 fastball to reset the game. Leading off the seventh, Niko Goodrum got enough of said fastball to hoist it over Adam Engel’s best effort for a game-tying homer. Lopez got out of the inning with a couple of lineouts to lock in a strong line — 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K — but no decision.

Jace Fry ended up getting the win, after he was thisclose to taking the L. He came in after Ian Hamilton overpowered Nicholas Castellanos to start the inning with the idea of turning around Victor Martinez, but Martinez instead turned around a plate-splitting 92 mph fastball for the go-ahead solo shot.

Bullet points:

*Both teams had five hits, and were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position.

*Tim Anderson made another terrific ranging play to his right, completed with a crossbody throw. Matt Davidson also spared Hamilton a single with a diving stab.

*Welington Castillo started his first game since his suspension and went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

*The White Sox were 0-6 against Detroit at home before this one.

Record: 56-82 | Box score

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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StockroomSnail

We’re not the worst! We’re not the worst!

gusguyman

7.5 games behind the Twins for second place ?

As Cirensica

Don’t look now, but the Royals have a 6 games winning streak, yet still with a godawful record that entrenched them in last place

roke1960

14-6 in their last 20 games. Don’t stop now boys!