The Detroit Tigers took on the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. It was a pure pitchers duel, but Detroit used a ninth-inning double and then a single to run away with a 2-1 win.
Detroit gave the ball to David Price to start the game against Chicago. #14 went 8.0 innings and gave up just on earned run on four hits and two walks. The 29-year-old from Vanderbilt University stuck out nine and now has a 0.40 ERA. The game was tied as he departed, leaving him with a no-decision after 108 pitches.
Jeff Samardzija took the ball to the mound to start the game and was almost just as dominant. He gave up one earned run on eight hits, but no walks, over 8.0 innings pitched. The righty from Valparaiso High School and the University of Notre Dame threw 106 pitches and snagged seven strikeouts of Tigers hitters. Samardzija now has a 4.29 ERA and took the no-decision.
"When you are facing their ace, you know you've got to be ready," Samarzjia said. "I knew I had to pound the strike zone, but the home run to Cespedes was basically the game. I wish I had that one back."
Joakim Soria replaced Price in the top of the ninth inning to try and help put away the White Sox. Soria pitched a perfect inning of baseball. The Mexan defect in 2001 has a 1.59 ERA on the season and ended up getting the win after the Tigers scored in the bottom of the ninth.
Nick Castellanos stretched what would have been a single into a double. However, instant replay review showed White Sox shortstop Alexi Ramirez tagged Castellanos on the toe before the runner hit the base.
"It was a bang-bang play, and I couldn't really feel if he touched me or not," Castellanos said. "A lot of umpires, if the ball beats you there, they take it for granted and call you out. I was happy that didn't happen."
Ramirez called for manager Robin Ventrua to come out to talk to the umpires. Second-base umpire Brian O'Nora talked with Ventura, but the mistake was that Ventura did not decide to challenge right away. It was too late for the skipper to make any sudden change in mind. Castellanos was safe.
"Brian said he missed him," Ventura explained. "I wish I could have watched the play."
Andrew Romine pinch ran for Castellanos.
"The video shows what happened," Ramirez said. "It was clear. I'm 100 percent sure I tagged him."
Alex Avila got out, but moved Romine to third base. Next up was Jose Iglesias, with his chance to shine.
"When you are in that situation, you can't try to do too much," Iglesias said. "You just have to see the ball, make sure you can make contact and see what happens."
Iglesias did just what he explained. The shortstop, who signed as an amateur free agent in 2009 from Cuba, took an 0-2 count and eventually singled to right field. That scored Avila, and the Tigers were walk-off winners.
Zach Duke was the pitcher with the biggest blemish on him, the run in the ninth. The 31-year-old threw 0.1 innings and seven pitches, all strikes, and gave up the game winning run on two hits.
The White Sox got things started when former Tiger Avasail Garica launched a 395-foot homer to right. However, Detroit bounced back with a Yoenis Cespedes homer to left. That one was 432 feet to tie the game at 1-1.
The Tigers have started 9-1 during this 2015 season. This is now the first time they have completed this feat since 1984. Detroit also made it happen in 1968. Surprisingly enough, those two years are the last two times the Tigers won the World Series.
Chicago will pitch Chris Sale (1-0, 1.50 ERA) against Detroit on Saturday. Sale has a career 2.84 ERA against the Tigers, but he is just 5-5.
Anibal Sanchez will get the mound for Detroit. He is a poor 2-4 against Chicago with a 3.72 ERA over six starts.