CHICAGO (AP) — One great bunt, one tough inning, and one ace pitcher cost the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night
Bryan Holaday bunted home Austin Jackson with two out in the ninth to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 4-3 win over the White Sox.
Jackson lined a long drive to right off Ronald Belisario and reached third when the ball was misplayed for an error by Dayan Viciedo. Jackson scored on Holaday’s surprise bunt down the third base line.
“Textbook — I mean it was good, I mean it was a perfect bunt,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Just a smart play, you know. Wet conditions, it would have been tough to get him on a night that was dry let alone the way it was. So it was just a smart play.”
White Sox starter Jose Quintana struck out a season-high 10, but had no decision for the third time this season, departing after six innings with the game tied 3-all.
Quintana struggled in the sixth as the Tigers collected four straight two-out hits and scored twice. Torii Hunter’s RBI single drove in Miguel Cabrera and Jackson’s base hit to left plated Victor Martinez to tie it 3-3.
“I think I gave up a big inning in the sixth inning. It was a big inning for me,” Quintana said. “But I was trying to throw a good pitch with two outs so I could get the last out after the two runs. I think it was a really good game, tied game, close game.”
It was that way because the White Sox could only crack Justin Verlander once, scoring three times in the third. Adam Eaton’s double to left scored Marcus Semien, Gordon Beckham singled home Eaton, and Adam Dunn drove in Beckham with a two-out double to right.
“I was a little out of rhythm after six days off,” Verlander said.
The former Cy Young award-winner gave up three earned runs on six hits, walking three and striking out four. The White Sox had their last chance against him in the seventh when they had runners on the corner with one out, but Verlander stuck out Semien and Eaton to end the threat.
“You know, that’s what great pitchers do. They bear down when they need to do it and he made the pitches that were necessary and heck, that’s why he’s such a great pitcher,” Eaton said. “He gets out of jams like that. Give him some credit there.”
There was plenty of credit going to Holaday, who replaced Alex Avila about 2½ hours before the first pitch due to Avila suffering back spasms.
“The one thing that works in your favor is that Belisario is a sinkerball pitcher so that helps you get the bunt on the ground,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He does throw hard and bunting is difficult. Doc is a good bunter, we knew he has the capability and he executed.”
Right-hander Joba Chamberlain (1-1) worked one inning of relief and Joe Nathan earned his fifth save in a game that was delayed by rain for 21 minutes in the first inning.
- White Sox LHP Chris Sale, sidelined with a left flexor strain, remains unlikely to pitch into this weekend.
- Chicago RHP Hector Noesi (0-1, 11.74) is scheduled to make his first start of 2014 on Wednesday and could work five innings.
- White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez opened the fourth with a bunt single to tie Paul Konerko’s 2002 franchise record with 39 hits in April.
- Ausmus said RHP Anibal Sanchez’s finger “looked good” and he is scheduled to do informal throwing Wednesday. Sanchez was placed on the disabled list April 27 with a laceration on his right middle finger.
- The Tigers entered Tuesday after two days off having played just 21 games — the fewest in baseball.
- No makeup date has been announced for Sunday’s rainout at Minnesota.