DETROIT — J.D. Martinez broke an eighth-inning tie with a pinch homer on the first pitch he had faced since June and the Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1 on Wednesday night for their eighth straight victory.
Playing for the first time since fracturing his elbow June 16, Martinez received a long standing ovation on his way to the plate to hit for James McCann leading off the inning.
The cheers got a lot louder when Martinez launched Chris Sale’s first pitch into the shrubs above the centerfield fence. Martinez took a curtain call after the inning, much to the crowd’s delight.
The White Sox put their first two runners on against Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth, and Melky Cabrera moved to third on Justin Morneau’s fly out. Rodriguez struck out Todd Frazier, but walked Avisail Garcia to load the bases. Dioner Navarro grounded out to second to end the game.
Sale (14-5) took the loss, allowing two runs on six hits in an eight-inning complete game. He walked one and struck out 10.
Shane Greene (2-2) got the win after pitching out of a seventh-inning jam, while Rodriguez picked up his 30th save.