By Stevie Garcia
Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- With the offseason just nine innings away, the White Sox (71-89) looked to finish their season on the positive side on Sunday afternoon, September 29, against the division doormat Detroit Tigers (47-113) at Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side.
Left-hander Ross Detwiler (3-5 6.85), who is coming off a win in his last start against the Cleveland Indians last Wednesday, got the ball for the Southsiders. His counterpart was second-year right-hander and MLB loss-leader Spencer Turnbull (3-16 4.59).
Former-2012 AL Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera got the scoring started in the 1st when he took the first Detwiler offering the opposite way for his 12th homerun of the season and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
After AL RBI leader Jose Abreu was hit by a pitch and a Yoan Moncada single in their bottom-half of the 1st and Eloy Jimenez at the plate, a throwing error by Ronny Rodriguez allowed Abreu to score from 2nd and even things up at one run apiece.
Following a Victor Reyes two-out single and steal of 2nd base, a Jody Mercer single drove in Reyes to put the Tigers back on top 2-1.
Sox’ starter Ross Detwiler pitched well through the fifth inning until a Victor Reyes single and Jody Mercer ended his day and was lifted for Jimmy Cordero. Cordero walked Jeimer Candelario then retired the next two Detroit hitters to get out of the inning.
Detwiler finished with allowing one run on five hits, while striking out three and walking one in 5⅓ innings.
Rookie Danny Mendick led off the bottom of the 6th with a walk followed by a Jose Abreu double. A Yoan Moncada groundout to 2nd scored Mendick to tie it up at 2-2. Eloy Jimenez’s double to left scored pinch-runner Ryan Goins to give the Sox their first lead of the game 3-2. Two batters later, Wellington Castillo hit his 12th home run of the year for a two-run shot and score the final runs of the Sox’ 2019 season and make it 5-2.
The Tigers added one more in the 9th on a Ronny Rodriguez solo-homerun off reliever Kelvin Herrera but it wasn’t enough as he sat down the final two Detroit hitters for the save and a 5-3 White Sox victory.
The Sox finish the season with a 72-89 mark, a 10½ game improvement from last season and the players and front office are optimistic about the 2020 season.
General Manager Rick Hahn addressed the media a few days ago and spoke of the vision he has for the team moving forward. “We’ve paid our dues for the last three years. These things tend to take longer than three years, so we are not out of the woods yet. But we are ready for that next stage when we get much closer to competitiveness to start ramping up here in the next weeks and months into next season.”
Manager Rick Renteria said after the game, “Our future’s bright. And it’s now. It’s time for us now to take the next step. I’ve been saying this all year long, that we’re at a point now where I make no bones about it, it’s going to be incumbent about myself and our staff and everybody to continue to push us to the next phase, the next level. I don’t want to be on the negative side of wins and losses anymore. I want to be on the other side of it in a positive way.”
IN WHITE SOX NEWS
- Eloy Jimenez was named the AL Rookie of the Month for September after batting .340 with 9 HR, 24 RBI, .383/.710/.1.093 for the final month of the season. Jimenez is the first Sox rookie to earn the monthly award since Jose Abreu did it three times in 2014. Also, Jimenez’s 31st homerun on Saturday was the third-most by a rookie in club history behind Ron Kittles’ 35 in 1983 and Jose Abreu’s 36 in 2014.
- Jose Abreu finished the season with an AL-leading 123 RBI. Abreu joins Dick Allen as the only Sox players to lead the league in that category. Allen drove in 113 in 1972.
- Tim Anderson finished the year by winning his first career AL batting title. Anderson finished the year with a .335 average in 123 games to go along with 18 HR, and a .357/.508/.865. His .335 average also led all of MLB. Anderson joins some great company as being the third White Sox player to win the batting crown joining Luke Appling batted .388 in 1936 and .328 in 1943. The most recent was Frank Thomas’ .347 mark in 1997.
Please note: Publication of this article was delayed as the publisher, now back on track and doing well, was preparing for a medical procedure.