White Sox 9, Tigers 6 (12 innings): All the fireworks before the fireworks

The White Sox and Tigers were already going to play two. They made it two and a third, because there was just a little too much narrative.

What was originally The Ryan Cordell Game before Yoan Moncada took charge in the extra innings ended with a Jose Abreu walk-off homer to sweep the doubleheader.

With two on and one out in the 12th, Moncada had a chance to be the ultimate hero, but he saw four Nick Ramirez changeups and swung through three of them. That brought Abreu to the plate, and he swung through a 2-1 changeup to even the count. When Abreu was late on a 90-mph fastball, it signaled that he wanted Ramirez to drop a changeup. Ramirez obliged, and Abreu hooked it into the White Sox bullpen. His 20th homer of the season took the form of a three-run walk-off.

Moncada made Abreu’s heroics possible not just by striking out, but by extending the game in the 10th inning. In the top of the frame, he cut off Eloy Jiménez’s fruitless throw home on John Hicks’ go-ahead single and redirected it to third to get the last out there. It didn’t prevent the Tigers from taking the lead off Carson Fulmer, but it prevented further damage. Then Moncada wrought damage himself, turning on a Shane Greene cutter and crushed it halfway to Indianapolis to tie it up once again.

And Moncada’s moment wouldn’t have been possible without Cordell, who had himself a nifty evening in regulation. He twice narrowed the lead, once with a solo shot in the fifth inning that made it a 4-2 game, and again with a two-run shot in the seventh that made it 5-4. Zack Collins followed by drawing the first of two walks off Detroit left-handed relievers, went to third on Leury García’s double and scored on a Moncada sac fly.

In the end, the bullpens — or the offenses against them — settled the battle of underpowered lefties.

Ross Detwiler’s night was probably how it’s going to be going forward. He subjects itself to contact. Some of it will be hard (Nicholas Castellanos’ no-doubt homer), a lot of it will be unimpressive, but he’ll need luck on his side.

And also better defense. Two of the four runs he allowed were unearned, and it sums up the battle that lies ahead of him. Yoan Moncada tried to play a John Hicks chopper off the side down the line and it scooted under his glove for a two-base error to start the third. Detwiler got a pair of lineouts, but then he gave up three consecutive singles (over the course of five pitches that turned a 1-0 lead into a 2-1 deficit.

Two innings later, Castellanos then took Detwiler deep for a two-run shot that gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead, and put two earned runs on Detwiler’s tab.

Detroit stretched it to 5-2 against Juan Minaya on Castellanos’ third run-scoring hit of the night and fourth hit overall.

Castellanos came to the plate in the ninth with a chance for a fifth hit, and the White Sox had a chance to pitch around him with a runner on second and two outs. But with Miguel Cabrera on deck, Alex Colomé went right at him, and he lashed the first pitch right at Cordell to end the inning.

The White Sox could only muster a couple of runs off lefty Tyler Alexander, who made his MLB debut. Moncada put the Sox on the board in the first with a solo shot from the right side, but Alexander got a lot of pedestrian contact afterward and represented himself well over five innings.

Another guy who represented himself well: Jose Ruiz, who showed why he’s still around in the 12th by striking out the side with an assault of nasty 98 mph fastballs. He picked up his first win of the season, and it was well earned considering the three other third-righty candidates — Fulmer, Juan Minaya and Kelvin Herrera — were all scored upon in an inning, if they even completed one.

Bullet points:

*Outside of Moncada’s error, the Sox played a strong defensive game. Moncada redeemed himself later with the redirect, then triggered Ron Gardenhire into a goofy challenge in the 11th when he started the inning by hopping on a grounder flirting with the foul line. That was an aggressive correction to the passive error earlier.

*Cordell made a leaping catch at the wall to save a run, and Jon Jay took a great route to make a running catch on the warning track in right.

*Fulmer was optioned to Charlotte after the game.

Record: 41-42 | Box score | Highlights

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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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ecivokrak

This is Ruiz’s first career MLB win, so each game resulted in a first career win for pitchers. I wonder how often that has happened in a doubleheader?

Joliet Orange Sox

This post may not have a long shelf life. However, right now there is a possibility (small but non-zero) that the Sox could beat the Tigers tomorrow and the Pirates could beat the Cubs tomorrow and then the Sox could sweep the Cubs over the weekend. This would lead to the Sox having a record of 44-42 going into the All-Star break with the Cubs having a record of 45-45. This would lead to some great days next week for many of us. Here’s hoping!

ParisSox

Ohh nice.  I didn’t realize we were that close to .500 but even more surprised that the Cubs were also that close to .500 from the other direction.  

lil jimmy

Cubs have great Home record, lousy record away. In the second half most of their games are away.

MrTopaz

What the hell happened in the 11th inning? I spaced out when I watched it, then I was up late watching the replay (cuz it was an awesome game) and I think they cut it for time. Who pitched? Obviously no runs were scored, but I’m starting to feel like those weirdos who think there are missing centuries of history being suppressed by the trilateral commission, or some such.

Edit: Nevermind, saw the bit about the Moncada play/Gardenhire challenge. I remember that. Okay everyone, time may be a consensual delusion, but I think we’re all on the same page.