Holaday, so focused on the situation, never heard their attempts
to instruct him to bunt with two outs and a runner on third base.
Unbeknownst to Holaday, he fulfilled the Tigers' request.
With the game tied against the Chicago White Sox, Holaday laid a
well-placed bunt for an infield single to score the go-ahead run.
Detroit closer Joe Nathan pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth, and
the Tigers won 4-3 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Holaday didn't find out until after the game that the coaching staff
was yelling in dugout for him to bunt. Ausmus even tried using code
words in hopes Holaday would hear him and understand the play call.
"I was just focusing on the third baseman (Marcus Semien) to see
what he was doing," Holaday said. "I noticed that he started in,
then backed up, so that's when I thought I had a good chance to lay
The Tigers (13-9) earned their 10th comeback victory of the season,
the most in the majors. Nathan earned his fifth save in seven
The decisive run was unearned. With one out in the ninth, Austin
Jackson hit a hard drive that grazed right fielder Dayan Viciedo's
glove and went for a three-base error. Chicago reliever Ronald
Belisario (1-3) then struck out Nick Castellanos, but Holaday, who
was only in the lineup because Alex Avila was scratched due to lower
back spasms, dropped a perfect bunt toward third base and Belisario
couldn't get an accurate throw to first base in time. Jackson scored
easily on the play for a 4-3 Tigers lead.
"Part of his ability to be successful as a bunter is I think the
sneak-attack tactic when the third baseman is playing him back,"
Ausmus said of Holaday. "If you don't know a player and they're a
catcher, you often assume they won't bunt or they can't run well."
White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana picked up his third no-decision
in six starts despite a quality start. Quintana surrendered three
runs on eight hits in six innings. He struck out 10 batters, one off
his career high, and didn't walk a batter.
Quintana ran into trouble in the sixth, which ruined what was
becoming a stellar outing. After left fielder Rajai Davis struck out
and second baseman Ian Kinsler grounded out to begin the inning, the
Tigers strung together four consecutive hits. First baseman Miguel
Cabrera and designated hitter Victor Martinez singled, and Cabrera
scored on right fielder Torii Hunter's RBI single to cut the White
Sox's lead to 3-2. The Tigers tied the game at 3 on Jackson's single
that scored Martinez.
Twice the White Sox had a chance to reclaim the lead with runners in
scoring position. In the seventh against Tigers starter Justin
Verlander, left fielder Alejandro De Aza hit a one-out triple and
catcher Tyler Flowers followed with a walk, but both were stranded.
Verlander struck out Semien and center fielder Adam Eaton to end the
inning and preserve the tie. Eaton broke his bat over his leg in
Chicago again had two runners on with one out in the eighth, this
time against Detroit reliever Joba Chamberlain (1-1). First baseman
Jose Abreu doubled and designated hitter Adam Dunn was intentionally
walked. Viciedo struck out looking after working a 3-0 count, and
shortstop Alexei Ramirez hit into a fielder's choice to keep the
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"We had opportunities throughout the night," White Sox manager
Robin Ventura said. "We got the three runs in the third but we
stranded a couple. You can tell Justin (Verlander) kind of cranked
it up somewhat when we had first and third and he just kind of blew
it away. We had opportunities, we just didn't cash in on them."
Verlander did his part to keep the Tigers in the game. He limited
the White Sox to three runs and six hits in seven innings, walking
three and striking out four batters.
It was Verlander's 176th quality start of his career, tied for
second most in the majors since 2006.
Quintana quieted the Tigers' bats from the start of the game.
Quintana struck out the first two batters he faced en route to eight
strikeouts through the first five innings. Even a 21-minute rain
delay before the bottom of the first inning didn't seem to affect
him. He came out in the top of the second and struck out the side
"I feel really good," Quintana said. "I think I gave up a big inning
in the sixth inning. It was a big inning for me, but I was trying to
throw a good pitch with two outs so I could get the last out after
the two runs. I think it was a really good game, tied game, close
Ramirez's bunt single in the fourth gave him his 29th hit of the
month, tying Paul Konerko (2002) for the franchise record in the
month of April.
NOTES: White Sox LHP Chris Sale (flexor muscle strain) played catch
before Tuesday's game and will throw long toss Wednesday. Sale has
been on the 15-day disabled list since April 22, and he has a slim
chance of pitching this weekend, manager Robin Ventura said. ...
Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez (laceration on right middle finger) will
throw Wednesday to test the skin on his finger. Manager Brad Ausmus
said Sanchez's finger looks good and now he must "build up the skin
on the end of that finger where it can take the friction of a
baseball coming off of it again." ... C Alex Avila (lower back
spasms) was scratched from the lineup. The back spasms cropped up
Tuesday, and he did not play, though he was available to pinch-hit.
Ausmus said Avila would not be in the lineup Wednesday to get him
extra rest with an off day Thursday.
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