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Tigers look to play spoiler against White Sox again

Sportsnaut
Sep 16, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Victor Reyes (22)  celebrates with shortstop Javier Baez (28)  and third baseman Ryan Kreidler (32) after hitting a sacrifice fly to score the game-winning run against the Chicago White Sox in the tenth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak with an extra-innings victory over the visiting Chicago White Sox on Friday.

In the process, it slowed the White Sox’s push for the American League Central Division title. Chicago (74-71) dropped four games behind first-place Cleveland, which defeated Minnesota on Friday.

Victor Reyes’ sacrifice fly in the 10th inning scored the game-winning run for the Tigers.

“It’s a fun win,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “It’s nice to finish that off. We felt like we played well enough to win pretty much the entire night. Maybe a miscue or two but it was nice to see.”

Shortstop Javier Baez committed a pair of errors, increasing his major-league leading total to 26. Baez made up for it at the plate, reaching base four times, including three hits. He also drew a walk, stole a base and scored a run.

Baez has had a rough first season with Detroit after signing a six-year, $140 million contract as a free agent last offseason. He raised his season average to .238 with a single, double and triple.

Baez is often guilty of overswinging and chasing pitches but when he doesn’t try to constantly pull the ball, he’s more dangerous.

“I love the discipline,” Hinch said. “I know he looks angry when he walks but he’s just an intense guy. The middle of the field is open for him and he’s doing a better job of doing that. When he dials it up — and he can dial it up — he’s an electrifying player.”

Rookie Riley Greene had his on-base streak of 20 games snapped with an 0-for-5 showing at the plate on Friday.

The bright spot for the White Sox was Jose Abreu, who ripped his 35th double of the season to drive in both of their runs. Elvis Andrus was 3-for-5 at the plate.

Johnny Cueto (7-8, 3.09 ERA) pitched eight scoreless innings against the Tigers on July 9. The 36-year-old right-hander will start the middle game of the series.

Cueto struggled in his last outing, allowing seven runs (five earned) and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings against Oakland on Sunday. It was his shortest outing of the season and just the third time he allowed more than three earned runs.

“I think his breaking pitches were a little flat, and he left it over the plate,” interim manager Miguel Cairo said.

All but one of the runs scored against Cueto came in the fifth inning. The White Sox wound up losing 10-3.

“One bad inning, that’s it,” Cairo said. “I think that was the game.”

Cueto is 2-2 with a 2.34 ERA in six career starts against the Tigers.

Detroit (55-89) will counter with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (3-5, 4.50). After a three-month absence, Rodriguez won both of his August starts. It’s been a different story this month, as he’s gone 0-2 with a 7.31 ERA in three starts.

In his last outing, Rodriguez gave up five runs and 10 hits in five innings to Houston on Monday. Rodriguez didn’t give up a homer but surrendered five in his previous two outings.

Rodriguez is 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox.

–Field Level Media