DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Detroit Tigers to a key 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
The win kept Detroit a game ahead of Kansas City atop the American League Central and dropped their magic numbers to five for the division and two for the postseason.
After David Price blew a 3-0 lead in the top of the ninth, Ian Kinsler started the bottom of the inning by bouncing a single over Conor Gillaspie’s head at third, and Jake Petricka (1-6) walked Torii Hunter. Cabrera then lined a single to left, with Kinsler scoring from second without a throw.
For most of the night, it looked like Price was going to show exactly why the Tigers had traded for him at the deadline, taking a three-hit shutout into the ninth. Adam Eaton singled and moved to third on Alexei Ramirez’s double. That got Joe Nathan up in the pen, and after Jose Abreu struck out, Avisail Garcia lined a two-run single to center.
Brad Ausmus visited the mound, drawing boos from the crowd, but he left Price in. Dayan Viciedo flew out to right for the second out, and Paul Konerko, who was honored by the Tigers before the game, singled to move Garcia to third. Marcus Semien then blooped a single to center, tying the game.
Nathan (5-4) came in to get the final out, and picked up the victory after Petricka couldn’t get an out in the bottom of the inning.
White Sox rookie Scott Carroll allowed two runs — one earned — in six-plus innings. He gave up five hits and two walks while striking out four.
Chicago almost broke a scoreless tie in the fifth, as Josh Phegley hit Price’s 3-2 pitch to the wall in left, but J.D. Martinez had plenty of time to set himself at the wall and reach up to make the catch to rob a home run. Price broke into a wry smile as he watched Martinez make the play.
The Tigers took the lead in the bottom of the inning. Rajai Davis singled, and was running on the pitch when Kinsler hit what would have otherwise been an easy double-play ball. Now in scoring position, Davis stole third and scored when Phegley’s throw trickled past Marcus Semien and into left.
Detroit used more speed to get a run in the seventh, as pinch-runner Andrew Romine was able to go from first to third on Semien’s error, and score on Kinsler’s single. Hunter followed with a ground-rule double to make it 3-0.
White Sox: Eaton returned to the lineup after missing two games to deal with a personal matter. He led off against Price. … With the White Sox out of the race, LHP Chris Sale will make his final start of the season on Wednesday instead of starting Tuesday and Sunday on normal rest. Ventura said that with Sale having been injured earlier this year, it made sense to ease him into the offseason.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (pectoral strain) was activated from the disabled list before Tuesday’s game, and will finish the season pitching out of the bullpen. Ausmus said, because of Sanchez’s outstanding pitch selection, he plans to use him in high-leverage situations.
The teams finish the three-game series Wednesday afternoon with Sale (12-4, 2.20) facing Justin Verlander (14-12, 4.68) in each pitcher’s last start of the regular season.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.