Castellanos makes a bad break for home
Detroit — Even when Nick Castellanos has a good day he has a bad day.
That's the life of the Tigers third baseman these days.
Castellanos had a triple and a double, but also made a criticial baserunning blunder in Detroit's 8-7, 10-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday at Comerica Park.
He led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple that eluded White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia. James McCann followed with a strikeout, and then Jose Iglesias hit a slow bouncer to second base.
Castellanos hesitated, and then broke for home — where White Sox second baseman Carlos Sanchez threw him out by a wide margin.
After the play, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus chatted with Castellanos at the dugout steps.
"Nick wasn't supposed to go. We were holding him," Ausmus said. "I just talked to him, make sure everyone was on the same page. I think he thought he could beat it, because it was a slower-hit grounder.
"At that time, he should've stayed."
The Tigers didn't score that inning, one of several missed scoring chances.
Castellanos also made a bit of a gaffe on defense. He didn't react quickly to Tyler Flowers' grounder to his left in the second inning, and the ball eluded his late dive — giving the White Sox the early 3-2 lead.
Castellanos, who was removed from the starting lineup for three games recently, was packing up his belongings and bolting the clubhouse as the media were let in Thursday afternoon.
Bruce Rondon made his first appearance in the majors since 2013, after missing all of 2014 after Tommy John surgery.
Rondon, whose stay in Toledo this year was longer than expected as he dealt with shoulder tendinitis and some inconsistencies on the mound, entered with one out in the seventh inning, taking over for Alfredo Simon.
And Rondon was impressive.
Against his first hitter, Jose Abreu, he got a strikeout on an 87-mph change-up. (Abreu struck out four times in the game.) And against his next hitter, Adam LaRoche, he got a strikeout looking with a 101-mph fastball on the black.
Mostly, Rondon's fastball ranged from 94-96.
That was the end of his day.
"He did nice," Ausmus said. "He came in and got two big outs. Felt like he had a good two-thirds of an inning the first time back; just get him out of there and maybe get him rolling."
The Tigers hit into three more double plays, running their major-league-leading total to 73.
The Tigers' 3-4-5 hitters — Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes -- were the victims.
"There's not a lot you can do. You can't tell guys not to hit into double plays," Ausmus said. "We're right-handed-strong, and right-handers tend to hit into more double plays just because they're on the other side of home.
"It's the type of hitters we have. A lot of our right-handed hitters aren't real fast."
Around the horn
With a runner on second and no out in the eighth, Ausmus pinch-hit Anthony Gose for James McCann with the order to bunt, even though McCann has proven to be a very fine bunter. "With Gose, his speed puts a lot more pressure on the defense and you might end up first and third," Ausmus said. "Also, if you get to two strikes, I'd rather have a left-handed hitter swinging (against White Sox reliever Zach Putnam).
... Alfredo Simon (6-1/3 innings, six hits, five earned runs, three walks, five strikeouts) seemed to give a little shoulder shrug to Ausmus when he was being taken out of the game. Ausmus didn't make the situation into a big deal, nor did Simon. "I don't want to come out of any game," Simon said.
... Jose Iglesias had three more hits to raise his average to .330. He also drove in a run, meaning he now can't be the rare All-Star who shows up to the game with fewer than 10 RBIs.
... The Tigers are 3-4 in extra-inning games.