Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tigers sweep White Sox convincingly, winning 18-2 on Sunday

By Matt Harding

Coming into the final game of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, the Tigers held a commanding series lead. Justin Verlander won his 21st game of the season on Friday in what was the first game of the series. They won with a score of 8-1.

Saturday afternoon's ballgame was an "on the edge of your seat" game; the Tigers were losing 8-1, the same score they won by on the previous day. Things started to turn around in the fifth inning, and, before the rain delay, they were only down by three. And obviously, if you're an adamant fan, you know of the late inning heroics by Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera after his walk-off home run on Saturday
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Sunday's match-up saw Max Scherzer facing off against longtime White Sock Mark Buehrle. The home team got off to an early lead after an Austin Jackson double to lead off of the game. Victor Martinez knocked him in with a single. And with that, the Tigs were off to a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second inning, the Tigers came pouncing back in the third. With two men on and a 3-2 count on Martinez, Jim Leyland made the gutsy call to send the runners (there was only one out). The call paid off as V-Mart knocked a liner to left field, scoring Magglio Ordonez. A single by Alex Avila scored Delmon Young. After a botched double play, Martinez would score.

Martinez has had a great series against the White Sox
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Ahead to the fourth inning, Brandon Inge started off with an opposite field single. After an Austin Jackson walk and an Ordonez sacrifice fly, Young singled and Cabrera doubled. With Cabby on second base, Mark Buehrle was removed from the game after giving up seven earned runs on ten hits. He gave way to Addison Reed, who was making his Major League debut. Reed faced Martinez, who popped up to the second baseman. The second batter he faced, Avila, fared better; he drove in Cabrera. That run would be attributed to Buehrle.

The next run, however, was attributed to Reed. He gave up an RBI single to Peralta. Raburn then singled, giving way to Inge; he struck out swinging. The score: 9-0.

In the sixth, the Tigers piled it on, scoring seven more runs. The last two of those runs came on a Cabrera home run; the score remained at 16-0 until the eighth where Andy Dirks, who was a pinch hitter for Delmon Young during a prior at-bat, hit a two-run home run.

With 18 runs on 24 hits, a season best for both, the Tigers routed the White Sox in the final game of the series. Of course, the White Sox didn't lay down entirely. They scored two runs on reliever Duane Below. Still, 18-2?! Holy cow! The Tigers have an afternoon game on Monday against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.