CHICAGO (AP) — John Hicks showed off his hitting and his speed, and made a nice defensive play to help the Detroit Tigers get another big win against the Chicago White Sox.
Hicks homered and scored the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning as the Tigers beat the White Sox 4-3 on Friday night.
Victor Martinez had a two-run double to help Detroit improve to 4-0 at Guaranteed Rate Field this season, and 6-1 overall against the Chicago.
Hicks led off the eighth with a single off White Sox reliever Juan Minaya (0-1) and later tagged from second on James McCann’s flyout to right.
With the infield in and one out, Victor Reyes hit a grounder to first baseman Jose Abreu. Abreu juggled the ball on the transfer allowing Hicks to beat the throw to the plate.
“I’m getting a little upset about people thinking I’m slow,” said Hicks. “We were going on contact and I saw the ball down and took off. He (Abreu) bobbled it a little bit. I may have been in trouble if he didn’t then I was able to get around the tag.”
Buck Farmer (2-3) got one out in the seventh for the win and Alex Wilson pitched out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth.
Wilson got Charlie Tilson to hit a grounder to Hicks at first, who made a nice threw to home for the force out before Adam Engel grounded out.
Shane Greene pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 21 chances as the Tigers won their third straight.
McCann finished with three hits for Detroit.
White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez came in 1-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last five home starts, but wasn’t sharp early.
In the second inning, Hicks hit Lopez’s 2-0 pitch over the center-field wall for his sixth homer of the season.
Martinez added a two-run double in the third to push Detroit’s lead to 3-0.
Lopez settled down after the third and made it through six innings. He gave up three runs and nine hits, but was visibly upset after leaving the game.
“Sometimes the emotions during the game, the adrenaline, make you keep going. I’m a competitor, said Lopez through a translator. “I always want to get more when I have a chance to be out there. That probably why I don’t like to get out of the game. I know the decision. I know they always try to make the best decision for us.”
With one out in the sixth, Tigers starter Mike Fiers gave up back-to-back to singles before Omar Narvaez hit his first home run of the season to tie the score.
It was Narvaez’s first homer since last Sept. 2 against Tampa Bay.
On the next pitch, Fiers hit Tim Anderson with an offspeed pitch. Anderson took exception and had a few words for Fiers as he walked to first.
The White Sox bench started to empty, but the situation was quickly defused.
“I don’t think he meant anything about it. I think it may have been some joke he was trying to get across, I don’t know. There was no harm, but I think everything got taken out of hand when (catcher) James McCann kind of jumped up and wondered what was going on and the crowd got loud,” said Fiers.
Anderson agreed with Fiers’ assessment.
“He tried to throw a curveball. It was a mistake. You know, pitchers make mistakes. Everything’s cool,” said Anderson. “I was telling him, ‘It’s OK.’ I don’t know what he said to me.”
Fiers allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Prized prospect RHP Michael Kopech was rocked for five runs on eight walks and two hits in three innings at Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday night. White Sox manager Rick Renteria just wants Kopech (2-5, 5.20 ERA) to get back to basics.
“Just continue to get back to the drawing board, get his work through, his side work. Hopefully, trying to get in a position where he’s commanding his fastball and using his secondary pitch. It is a process. You know, he has had a few tough ones. Hopefully, the next one will be better,” said Renteria.
Renteria said there has been no discussion about Kopech’s prospects of joining the White Sox.
“I can’t speak to his timeline. I haven’t spoken about timelines with any of our guys (in the front office).”
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera had successful surgery on his left biceps tendon on Thursday. Cabrera, who is out for the rest of the season is expected to return for spring training.
White Sox: OF Avisail Garcia, who is rehabbing a strained a right hamstring was 1 for 4 with an RBI double for Triple-A Charlotte.
He will be re-evaluated on Saturday. Garcia hit his first home run of the rehab assignment along with a double and three RBI on Thursday night.
UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes threw out the first pitch. He is currently the No. 2 heavyweight contender in the UFC and is coming off a third-round TKO win over Alistair Overeem.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-0) is scheduled to make his first appearance since May 5 due to a right shoulder injury.
White Sox: RHP Lucas Lucas Giolito (4-7) is 1-4 with a 11.63 ERA at home this season.
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