DETROIT – The scenario was there for the team to take care of their playoff fate on their own the last two days at Comerica Park, yet the chance to do so slipped away.
Once again, the White Sox did so after jumping out to an early lead on the Tigers with the opportunity to reduce their “Magic Number” for an American League Central division title.
After taking an early 2-0, the Tigers rallied to tie the game against starter Dallas Keuchel before getting three runs off the White Sox bullpen to win it 5-3 on Tuesday afternoon.
The contest was originally scheduled for an evening start but was moved up due to predicted weather, but oddly enough, it ended up being a sunny finish in Detroit. That might not be how Tony La Russa’s team is feeling at the moment, since the White Sox gave up a 3-0 lead on Monday in a 4-3 loss to the Tigers.
Thanks to a Royals’ sweep of the Indians in a doubleheader on Monday, the White Sox would have already clinched the division had they held onto win both games. Instead, their “Magic Number” remains at two with Kansas City and Cleveland playing the third game of their series at 5:10 PM.
Should the Indians lose, the White Sox would play their final game of the series at Comerica Park on Wednesday at 12:10 PM with a shot to clinch the division, though rain is predicted around game time in Detroit.
Luis Robert’s two-RBI single in the third inning gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead, but Keuchel struggled to hold onto it. He surrendered a run in the third and fourth inning, both on singles by Akil Baddoo, to tie the game. Keuchel would allow 11 hits during his five innings of work on Tuesday but didn’t allow another run after the fourth.
The Tigers struck against the White Sox bullpen in the seventh as Niko Goodrum’s two-out RBI single off Jace Fry brought in the go-ahead run. After walking two batters to load the bases, Fry was pulled for Aaron Bummer, who gave up a hit to right off the bat of Victor Reyes to bring two more runs in to make it 5-2.
That would be the difference as Tim Anderson got a run back in the eighth on a two-out RBI single that cut the lead to two. In the ninth, the White Sox got two runners on with two out but Michael Fulmer struck out Leury Garcia to end the game.
So, once again, the White Sox will need help to take their “Magic Number” down on this Tuesday.