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Tigers look to 'turn the page' after troubles against White Sox continue

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Chicago — The Lions weren’t the only team to lose to a Chicago team.

Now, granted, that loss was gut-wrenching and somewhat unexplainable, with most sports fans in Detroit living and dying on every play.

Back here in Chicago, the Tigers lost, 5-2, to the White Sox, which wasn’t shocking at all given how this season has went.

BOX SCORE: White Sox 5, Tigers 2

The White Sox have defeated the Tigers in nine consecutive games, after the Tigers won the opening game between the teams this season.

Tigers starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull reacts as White Sox's Eloy Jimenez rounds third base after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning on Sunday.

"When we play the White Sox we know we have to play the right way," first baseman Jeimer Candelario said. "They have a great team, a lot of good hitters. We just want to be in position to win a ballgame. We've been battling these couple of days, we didn't get the win, and now we have to turn the page and enjoy the day off (Monday) and play Kansas City."

For good measure, that’s 10 losses in the last 13 games for the Tigers overall in a season that's going off the rails, especially the way the last six games have gone (outscored 57-13, five losses).

More: Tigers still have much to play for with playoff hopes slipping away

The Tigers desperately needed starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull to eat some innings for an overworked bullpen.

And Turnbull did, going five innings. But he allowed five runs on eight hits and wasn't able to slow down this rampaging White Sox lineup, although Turnbull probably deserved a somewhat better fate.

"He had great stuff," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They rolled balls through, but he had some real good stuff. He threw five good innings against a good team. There were a couple of bad pitches, but he had some of the best stuff he's had in a while. 

"They scored five runs against him and it didn't seem like they scored five runs against him."

In terms of pure "stuff," Turnbull agreed it was one of his best games this season. But the frustration of another loss and the way the White Sox were able to pick things apart made for a tough afternoon.

"Just one of those days," Turnbull said. "I felt I made one mistake today (home run pitch to Eloy Jimenez). Other than that, my stuff was real sharp compared to how it's been all year. I was pleased with that. I felt like I executed. One walk, that's better than it has been. 

"I felt very good, and if I'm executing like that, I'm confident things will go may way more often than not."

The Tigers took an early lead in the first inning. Willi Castro walked, moved to second on Miguel Cabrera’s single, and scored on Jorge Bonifacio’s single (Bonifacio also singled in Candelario in the ninth inning).

But the White Sox answered in the second on Yoan Moncada’s double (scoring former Tiger James McCann), then took the lead for good in the fourth inning on Jimenez’s 13th home run.

The White Sox broke it open in the fifth inning, scoring three times off Turnbull and effectively turning attention of whatever fans watching this game to the Lions-Bears’ contest.

At 30-16, the White Sox lead the Central Division and have the best win percentage (.652) in the American League. They are a definite contender to go far in next month's playoffs, and have certainly hurt the Tigers this season.

"They have a real good lineup all the way up and down," Gardenhire said. "They all fight pitches off, foul balls off, and that's why they are where they're at right now. They have a real good lineup that can match with anybody's in baseball."

The Tigers went hitless from the second through the fifth until Candelario's single finally created some offense. They only had six hits for the day.

"You're not going to win many games like that," Gardenhire said. "We're not stacking hits together. We seem to get behind early and that's not a good thing for your baseball team and you have to end up trying to fight back. 

"We have a lot of young hitters in the lineup right now. Everybody in our infield is young. We have a lot of kids out there and it's not easy, and they're trying to learn on the go."

Twitter: @tkulfan