Tigers 5, White Sox 4: Bruce Rondon’s return unsuccessful

Former Tiger fumbles away two-run lead after strong start from Reynaldo Lopez

Tigers fans probably didn’t miss Bruce Rondon entering this series, and they probably miss him even less now.

The former Detroit closer entered the game in the eighth inning with the White Sox leading 4-2, and he departed with the game tied at 4, only one out and a runner on third. A suboptimal effort on the right side of the infield allowed a jam shot to fall for the go-ahead run, giving Detroit four wins against the Sox in four games this season.

The Sox had led from the third batter of the game onward, but the Tigers made quick work of Rondon. They greeted him with a double, and bounced back from a strikeout with an RBI single by Leonys Martin, followed by a Nick Castellanos double. A good relay would have gotten Martin at the plate, but Yoan Moncada’s throw was on the foul side of the plate, and Martin’s foot got a corner of the plate before Omar Narvaez’s swipe. Castellanos took third on the play.

In came Jace Fry to turn around Jeimer Candelario, and Fry did his job by getting a weak pop-up to the right side. One problem: The infield was drawn in, and it was over Jose Abreu’s head. A second problem: Moncada had the better angle all along, but he never took charge. Abreu got turned around, the ball fell harmlessly to the ground, and Castellanos scored without a throw.

Shane Greene came in and worked around a Yolmer Sanchez infield single by getting Abreu to bounce into a double play. Daniel Palka struck out to end the game.

Rondon ruined what was a pretty enjoyable evening, because he spoiled what would’ve been Reynaldo Lopez’s second victory of the season. Lopez found success pitching to contact, scattering five hits and three walks over seven innings while striking out three.

The Sox jumped all over Mike Fiers, a satisfying turn of events after Fiers shut down the Sox the first time they met. Moncada ripped the first pitch for a double and scored two batters later on Jose Abreu’s double. Tim Anderson then cashed in Abreu with a two-out RBI single.

In the fourth, Charlie Tilson failed to bunt over Omar Narvaez to third after the first two batters reached, but the force play at third at least unclogged the bases. The lead runner became Adam Engel, and they executed a double steal before Trayce Thompson slapped a single to right to make it a 3-0 game.

Lopez absorbed his only damage in the fourth. Martin singled and Castellanos doubled (they were a pain all night), and while Lopez got a popout to give him a better footing, a subsequent wild pitch brought one run home, and Victor Martinez’s groundout scored a second run.

Tim Anderson got one of the runs back with a solo shot to left in the fifth. Anderson had a big game, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, which he needed to break out of his slump.

Lopez wasn’t as electric as his previous outing. His fastball was in the high-90s early, but dropped off to 94 during the second half of his evening. He benefited from three double plays, including one of the 9-3 variety when Jose Iglesias tried stealing second on a flyout to right. Thompson made an easy one-hop throw to beat him back to first. He also survived another Martin-Castellanos uprising when a scalded liner by Candelario found Abreu’s mitt. That part of the Tigers order went 5-for-7 with two doubles, a walk, four runs scored and two RBIs.

Record: 15-33 | Box score

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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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WBWSF

Another loss in another lost season.

Trooper Galactus

Consistency. (Specifically, the consistency of mud.)