It was a quick turnaround for the Sox and Tigers for Wednesday’s rubber match in the Motor City, and the Sox tamed the Tigers 7-5 to take two out of three with some early fireworks.
Tim Anderson. Anderson has found his form at the plate since returning from an ankle injury, going 4-for-5 on the day with a homer to lead off the game and three total runs scored. He ended the day a double shy of the cycle. It was a long at-bat to start the ballgame, as Anderson finally took the 10th pitch of the sequence way out to left field for a long home run. He then tripled in his second at bat, and the cycle watch was on, but he failed to record a double. Still, impressive stuff from the 2019 AL batting champ, and he set the table for those behind him, scoring three times. He upped his average to .385 on the season.
James McCann. Another solid outing from McCann, going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks to boot. His .375 average on the year makes it a little easier to keep his bat in the lineup, at least until Yasmani Grandal gets his bat going. He also did a fine job helping Dylan Cease navigate around a rough 4th inning, in which Detroit tagged Cease for 4 runs.
Eloy Jimenez. Another multi-hit effort for the young left fielder on Wednesday, as he followed Anderson’s game-opening home run with a solo home run of his own. He added a single later, to help raise his average to .246 on the season. Hopefully this is a sign of more consistent hitting for Jimenez.
Luis Robert. He only had one hit on the day, but it was the biggest one of the day, as he cleared the bases with a double in the fifth inning to put the Sox ahead for good at 6-5. Nomar Mazara drove him in to finish the scoring, but Robert’s double was just a couple feet from being a grand slam.
Alex Colome. The Sox closer made easy work of the Tigers in the 9th, feeding the Tigers a steady diet of cutters to the tune of 11 strikes on just 16 pitches to retire the side in order, which is a pleasant departure from some of the high-wire acts we’ve seen from Colome earlier this year. It continues the trend of the bullpen being a strength, as Sox relievers kept the Tigers off the scoreboard after the Sox regained the lead in the top of the fifth.
Dylan Cease. He had one bad inning, in which the Tigers scored four runs, but the Sox offense all four of those runs back the very next half inning. He threw six innings, striking out five and, more importantly, didn’t walk a single batter. He did allow two home runs, which isn’t great, but luckily, his offense had his back and allowed him to pick up the win.
Jose Abreu. He was held hitless, and struck out three times, which isn’t exactly what you want to see out of your cleanup hitter. In previous years, if you would have said that Abreu would have gone 0-for-4 with 3 K’s, I’d say the Sox likely would have lost 6-1 or something like that. It’s impressive that the rest of the Sox offense was able to pick up the slack for Abreu on an off day for #79.
Edwin Encarnacion. He, too, was held out of the hit column in five AB, only reaching base on a fielder’s choice in the fifth, which proved to be pivotal, as he wound up scoring on Luis Robert’s 3-run double. But it’s not a good sign that the designated hitter (you have one job, Edwin!) is hitting .179.
With this win, the Sox moved back above .500 on the season, and they are scheduled to play the Cardinals this weekend, but considering that the Cardinals are a festering pile of virus-laden maggots currently, who knows if those games will be played? If not, these Tigers come to Chicago for a four-game set next week before the first of two crosstown clashes. Buckle up, kids, it’s about to get fun.