Live Tigers blog: Bats pave road to victory for Tigers

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News
Detroit Tigers' Justin Upton tosses his bat after striking out with the bases loaded on a pitch from Chicago White Sox starter Jacob Turner during the first inning.


The Tigers were up and Michael Fulmer was cruising into the fifth inning, but a blast from the past stalled the road to victory for a moment as Justin Morneau's three-run home run capped a four-run frame from the White Sox that put the Tigers down 5-4.

It was the big man, Miguel Cabrera, who put the Tigers on his back in the seventh. With the bases loaded and two out, Cabrera notched a two-RBI single back up the middle of the diamond to give his team a 7-5 lead. Cabrera carried the Tigers with his bat tonight, going 4-for-4 from the dish with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored.

In the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez got the call for the save and put together a drama-free frame to pick up his 27th save of the season.

The pinch-hitting former Tiger Avisail Garcia struck out looking, Tim Anderson struck out swinging and Melky Cabrera grounded out to third to end the game.

Fulmer (5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4K) wasn't terrible, but with 86 pitches thrown after a tough fifth inning, Brad Ausmus pulled the plug as the Tigers continue to look for ways to save his young arm for the stretch run.

The bullpen (Kyle Ryan, Alex Wilson, Justin Wilson, Rodriguez) did its job well, surrendering just two hits and one walk in four innings of work.

With Cleveland losing in Baltimore tonight, the Tigers picked up a game in the race for the Central Division title, pulling with six of the Tribe.

Top 9th: Tigers 7, White Sox 5

Jose Iglesias doubled with one out, but the Tigers couldn't take advantage against Zach Duke, who was on for his second inning of relief. Ian Kinsler struck out swinging and Cameron Maybin flew out to right field to end the frame.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out swingingleadoff the inning.

Bottom 8th: Tigers 7, White Sox 5

Justin Wilson stayed on to pitch the eighth inning and gave up a two-out single to Tyler Saladino. He came back to strike out the pinch-hitting Dioner Navarro to put the Tigers just three outs away from a key victory in Chicago.

Todd Frazier grounded out to third and J.B. Shuck grounded out to second to start the inning.

With Cleveland losing to Baltimore tonight and a number of the other teams in the A.L. Wild Card chase also falling, this would be a big win for the Tigers.

Top 8th: Tigers 7, White Sox 5

Nick Castellanos notched an infield single off of the sixth Chicago reliever of the night, Zach Duke. Justin Upton grounded into a double play, though, and the Tigers went down in the eighth after Tyler Collins grounded out to second.

Bottom 7th: Tigers 7, White Sox 5

Alex Wilson got the call for the seventh inning and gave up an infield single to Jose Abreu (3-for-3) with two outs. Brad Ausmus went back to the bullpen to bring in Justin Wilson with the tying run coming to the plate, and that proved to be the right call, as Wilson got Justin Morneau to ground out to second to end the frame.

Tim Anderson grounded out to second and Melky Cabrera flew out to center field to start the inning.

Top 7th: Tigers 7, White Sox 5

After the Tigers tied the game, Miguel Cabrera stepped to the dish against White Sox reliever Nate Jones with the bases juiced. Even after falling behind in the count, Cabrera won the battle, driving a single back up the middle of the diamond for a two-RBI single that gives the Tigers a 7-5 lead.

The two RBIs put Cabrera over 1,500 for his career, the 56th player in Major League Baseball history to do so. He came in at 1,499.

The White Sox were able to get the out at third, putting men on first and second with one out and the top of the order coming to the dish. A wild pitch with Ian Kinsler at-bat moved the runners up to second and third, and after a ground ball, it looked like Saltalamacchia would score, but shortstop Tim Anderson made a great throw to home plate to get the Tigers catcher at the dish. With two outs and two on, Fulmer walked Cameron Maybin to load the bases for Cabrera.

Justin Upton drew a leadoff walk from new Chicago reliever Carson Fulmer and Tyler Collins notched a base hit to right field to put the first two men on for the Tigers. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out from new Chicago reliever Carson Fulmer, Jose Iglesias grounded into a fielder's choice to score the run and tie the game, 5-5.

Bottom 6th: White Sox 5, Tigers 4

Brad Ausmus apparently felt that Michael Fulmer had reached the end of his rope tonight after giving up four runs in the fifth, pulling his young starter after he threw five innings and just 86 pitches.

Kyle Ryan was the man out of the bullpen and after getting the first two batters, he walked the number nine hitter, Omar Narvaez. Ryan bounced back, though, getting Adam Eaton to fly out to right field to end the frame.

J.B. Shuck grounded out to second and Tyler Saladino grounded out to first to start the inning.

Fulmer was looking strong until the fifth inning. It seemed plausible to bring him back out and see how he would respond in the sixth, but it all worked out for the Tigers.

His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Top 6th: White Sox 5, Tigers 4

Tommy Kahnle came in as Chicago's fourth reliever and Miguel Cabrera got his third base hit of the night, a two-out double down the left field line to extend the inning. Victor Martinez was given a free pass and Nick Castellanos flew out to right field to end the inning.

Ian Kinsler struck out and Cameron Maybin did the same to start the frame.

Bottom 5th: White Sox 5, Tigers 4

It looked like Michael Fulmer was going to work himself out of a jam, but with two outs and runners on the corners, Jose Abreu was able to fight a ball off up in the zone and get it to land just inside the right field line for an RBI double that cut the Tigers lead to 4-2.

With runners on second and third, Fulmer made the big mistake, giving up a three-run blast to Justin Morneau (remember him?) for his first home run of the season, giving Chicago a 5-4 lead.

Omar Navaez led things off with a single to right field and Fulmer walked Adam Eaton that put him in a bit of a jam. Nick Castellanos laid out to save a Tim Anderson RBI, getting the out at second base. With runners on the corners, Fulmer dialed it in to strike out Melkey Cabrera before giving up the Abreu double.

Top 5th: Tigers 4, White Sox 1

Justin Upton grounded out to second to leadoff the fifth and Matt Albers was lifted from the game after having recorded just three outs and throwing 13 pitches for Chicago.

Dan Jennings was next out of the White Sox bullpen and he got Tyler Collins to fly out to center field before Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached first base on a bad throw from Tim Anderson on a routine ground ball. Jose Iglesias would ground out to shortstop to end the inning as Anderson redeemed himself.

The White Sox have three errors tonight.

Bottom 4th: Tigers 4, White Sox 1

Todd Frazier struck out swinging, J.B. Shuck grounded out back to the pitcher and Tyler Saladino grounded out to shortstop as Michael Fulmer set the White Sox down in order in the fourth.

Fulmer is on cruise control right now and appears to be in good shape to pick up his 10th win of the season.

Top 4th: Tigers 4, White Sox 1

Ian Kinsler singled through the left side of the infield with one out and Cameron Maybin drew a walk that brought the end of the road for Jacob Turner, who recorded just 10 outs in throwing 101 pitches.

Matt Albers came into the game and Miguel Cabrera hit a rocket up the middle that was knocked down by Tyler Saladino, who was unable to get up and record an out. With the bases loaded, Martinez flew out to center field, scoring Kinsler from third to make it 4-1. With two men still on base, Nick Castellanos grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.

Jose Iglesias grounded out to shortstop to leadoff the inning.

Bottom 3rd: Tigers 3, White Sox 1

Melky Cabrera doubled to the gap in right center with two outs and Michael Fulmer issued a walk to Jose Abreu to put two men on for Justin Morneau. Fulmer settled in, though, getting Morneau to ground out to first base to end the inning.

Adam Eaton grounded out to shortstop and Tim Anderson grounded out to second to start the frame.

Fulmer's pitch count is in decent shape right now at 46.

Top 3rd: Tigers 3, White Sox 1

Justin Turner labored in the first inning before a quick second inning. In the third, he threw 46 pitches, driving his pitch count up to 90 as the Tigers tagged him for three runs.

With the leadoff man on third base, Cameron Maybin drilled a ball down the right field line for an RBI double that tied the game, 1-1. Maybin ended up on third after an error in handling the ball by Adam Eaton.

With nobody out, Miguel Cabrera drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on the corners for Victor Martinez. Maybin scored on a wild pitch on the first pitch to Martinez. Cabrera moved up to second. Martinez grounded out to second, moving Cabrera to third with one out. Nick Castellanos brought Cabrera home after a nine-pitch battle with Jacob Turner, making it 3-1 Tigers. Justin Upton fought off a ball for a bloop single, and with two men on and still just one out, Tyler Collins struck out swinging. Turner finally got out of the inning by striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia for his sixth punch out of the night.

Kinsler got on base after being hit by a pitch and he moved all the way up to third after a bad throw from first to second base when it looked like the White Sox had Kinsler nailed on an attempted steal.

Bottom 2nd: White Sox 1, Tigers 0

Michael Fulmer settled in and put together a solid second inning in sitting Chicago down in order.

J.B. Shuck grounded out to first, Tyler Saladino flew out to left field and Omar Navarez popped out to third.

Top 2nd: White Sox 1, Tigers 0

Jacob Turner picked up two more strikeouts to bring his total to four through two innings, and this time he was a lot more efficient in his work.

Tyler Collins struck out swinging, Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out looking and Jose Iglesias grounded out to second.

Turner threw just 14 second inning pitches after going for 30 in the first.

Bottom 1st: White Sox 1, Tigers 0

A Jose Iglesias error allowed Tim Anderson to reach base with one out. Anderson moved up to third after a base knock from Melky Cabrera, putting runners on the corners. That was all Jose Abreu needed, singling back up the middle to score the game's first run. Fulmer looked close to imploding after hitting Justin Morneau to load the bases, but he came back to get Todd Frazier to ground into an inning ending double play.

Adam Eaton struck out to leadoff the inning.

Top 1st: Tigers 0, White Sox 0

After getting the first two men and hitting 98 on the gun, former Tiger Jacob Turner gave up a two-out double to Miguel Cabrera. The White Sox elected to give the free pass to Victor Martinez before Turner walked Nick Castellanos to load the bases for Justin Upton. Upton couldn't come through, however, striking out at a poor pitch way out in front of the plate.

Ian Kinsler struck out swinging and Cameron Maybin grounded out to third to start the inning.

Turner threw 30 first inning pitches.


1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Cameron Maybin, CF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Nick Castellanos, 3B

6. Justin Upton, LF

7. Tyler Collins, RF

8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Michael Fulmer, P


1. Adam Eaton, RF

2. Tim Anderson, SS

3. Melky Cabrera, LF

4. Jose Abreu, 1B

5. Justin Morneau, DH

6. Todd Frazier, 3B

7. J.B. Shuck, CF

8. Tyler Saladino, 2B

9. Omar Narvaez, C

Jacob Turner, P


When: Friday, 8:10 p.m.

Where: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago

Pitching matchup: RHP Michael Fulmer (9-2, 2.13) vs. RHP Jacob Turner (0-1, 18.00)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: None

Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: SIRI Internet 849