It seems every day, the Detroit Tigers find new ways to win – and find someone new to deliver that win. The Tigers extended their win streak to 12 games by scoring three in the ninth and one in the tenth to beat the Chicago White Sox, 6-5.
The Tigers trailed 5-2 going to the ninth, and that’s when the wheels started to turn,and Jim Leyland took full advantage of the expanded September rosters. In the space of four batters, Leyland used five pinch-hitters: Johnny Peralta lead off the inning – pinch-hitting for Wilson Betemit - and struck out against reliever Chris Sale. Then Ryan Raburn - pinch-hitting – hit a home run to left off Sale to trim the deficit to 5-3. Pinch-hitter Magglio Ordonez worked Sale for a walk. Then Brandon Inge was announced as a pinch-hitter, at which point White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen went to his bullpen to bring in his closer, Sergio Santos. Leyland then countered by using Alex Avila to pinch-hit for Inge. The last time Santos had faced the Tigers – in Detroit – he gave up two home runs in the 9th, and the Tigers stunned the Sox with a 9-8 win. On the second pitch of Avila’s at-bat – he hit a two run home run to right field that tied the game, 5-5. Then in the 10th, Martinez doubled off Santos with one out, and Carlos Guillen – getting a rare start at 2B - singled home pinch-runner Will Rhymes to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead. Guillen had homered and singled earlier in the game. Jose Valverde then closed it out by striking out the side in the bottom of the tenth for his 44th save.
Another day, another incredible win the for Tigers. With the Indians loss at Texas Wednesday night, the Tigers magic number for clinching their first-ever Central Division Title is at two. Which means the Tigers could clinch tonight in Oakland, where they begin a four game series.
Listen below to Dan’s call of Alex Avila’s pinch hit 2-run HR
Listen below to Dan’s call Carlos Guillen’s go ahead RBI single
Follow Dan Dickerson on Twitter @dan_dickerson