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Detroit — It was this kind of night for the Tigers.

Already trailing 5-1 in the third inning, third baseman Jeimer Candelario thought Matt Davidson had left third base early after he tagged and scored the fifth run on a sacrifice fly. Candelario motioned to the dugout and to pitcher Ryan Carpenter and then he stayed on the base to await the appeal throw when play resumed.

Carpenter, though, got the all-clear sign from the dugout. Candelario did not and he stayed on the bag as Carpenter delivered the pitch to Smith. Naturally, Smith promptly hit a ground ball to third base.

Fortunately for the Tigers, Candelario, surprised for sure, was able to react quickly and make the play.

BOX SCORE: White Sox 6, Tigers 1

"Jeimer wanted the throw, but we all saw that he had held the base," manager Ron Gardenhire said after the White Sox completed the 6-1 win, their second straight over the Tigers. "Jeimer said he left too early, but we had checked the video and he was fine.

"That's not good. Jeimer needs to be playing, not umpiring. He tried to watch it, which was good. He was standing right there. But we had already checked it."

And that was before it started to rain.

"It was one of those games," Gardenhire said. "It just went nowhere. We didn't do too awful much."

Afterward, the Tigers optioned Carpenter back to Triple-A Toledo. A corresponding move will be announced before the game Sunday. It could be a fresh-armed reliever since the Tigers won't need to fill Carpenter's starting spot until after Sept. 1, when rosters can expand.

Or, left-hander Blaine Hardy, who will be eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday, could be activated. 

"Just from the start, I got behind hitters and that's when you get in big trouble," said Carpenter, who gave up six runs and nine hits in 4⅓ innings. "I couldn't locate my fastball very well and they made me pay for it."

The Tigers desperately needed Carpenter to eat up some innings. Six relievers covered 4⅔ innings on Friday. But it didn’t go so good.

"Early in the game it was just dragging," Gardenhire said. "Just a slow pace. (Carpenter) really needed to pick up the pace. He tried a couple of times but it just didn't work out for him."

After three innings he was at 62 pitches, and he’d already been touched for five runs. Smith whacked a two-run home run off him in the second. It was the fourth home run Carpenter had given up in just seven innings in his two starts.

He gave up an RBI double to Jose Rondon in the first and another RBI double to Davidson in the fifth.

More: Gardenhire: Daniel Norris likely to pitch out of bullpen if he gets back in September

More: Work in progress: Castellanos had an adventurous night in right field Friday

He only pitched one clean inning, the fourth.

"I made a little adjustment there in the fourth inning and started getting the ball inside more," Carpenter said. "But, it was too little too late."

The Tigers didn’t do much against White Sox starter, right-hander Lucas Giolito. Mikie Mahtook’s 421-foot home run into the visitor’s bullpen in the second inning was their only marker. It was Mahtook’s fourth home run in nine days (26 at-bats).

In the midst of the gloom, though, shortstop Jose Iglesias sparkled. He banged three hits, two of the three hits allowed by Giolito in seven innings of work. He stole his 15th base, which is one more than he had the last two seasons combined. And he played his usual stellar defense.

He helped get Carpenter out of the soup in the first inning with a perfect relay throw to third base. Rondon was trying to stretch his double into a triple. Victor Reyes picked up the ball on the warning track in center and threw a strike to Iglesias in shallow left-center.

Iglesias, taking no time on the transfer, fired a bullet on one-hop to Candelario, who applied the tag.

Another positive for the Tigers was the continued stinginess of right-hander Drew VerHagen. He allowed just one hit over 2⅔ innings of work. It was his fifth straight scoreless outing.

Since coming off the disabled list in early July, he’s allowed seven runs in 27 innings with opponents hitting .190.

"We needed it, we needed him to stretch out," Gardenhire said. "He really saved the rest of the guys. We saved about four or five guys (in the bullpen) tonight. He got us through the game without obliterating our bullpen again."

Little victories. 

cmccosky@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/cmccosky

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