Whether he was going deep or finding a hole, Jeimer Candelario did what he could to keep Detroit rolling.
Candelario homered and drove in three runs, and the Tigers won their sixth straight, beating the Chicago White Sox 7-5 on Friday night.
The Tigers went ahead by five and hung on after Chicago scored three in the eighth and put two on in the ninth, extending their longest win streak since a seven-game run last July.
Candelario, despite a .186 average coming in, came through with some big hits for Detroit.
“You want to contribute, you want to be in the lineup every single day,” Candelario said. “You want to produce. This is the big leagues. We’ve got to produce. We’ve got to win ballgames. We’ve got to perform. And that’s what we’re working really hard to do.”
Candelario smacked a long, tying two-run homer to right against Lucas Giolito in the sixth inning and chased him by bouncing a two-out RBI single through the hole in the seventh that made it 3-2.
Detroit scored three more in the inning, with Willi Castro adding a run-scoring single and Javier Baez driving in two more with a bases-loaded double against Joe Kelly. Baez raised his arms and gestured to the crowd to bring it on as he stood at second and the boos rained down on the former Cubs star.
The Tigers got another run in the eighth when Eric Haase singled and center fielder Luis Robert allowed Spencer Torkelson’s long fly to drop, bumping the lead to 7-2.
The White Sox scored three in the bottom half before Andrew Vaughn — batting for Leury Garcia — struck out with runners on the corners to end the rally.
In the ninth, they had runners on first and third after Michael Fulmer hit Tim Anderson in the shoulder with one out and AJ Pollock singled. Fulmer got out of the jam by striking out Robert and retiring Jose Abreu on a fly to right for his second save in four chances.
SKUBAL SETTLES DOWN
Detroit’s Tarik Skubal (6-7) tossed six solid innings after getting roughed up in losing his previous five starts.
The only runs he allowed were on Robert’s towering two-run homer in the first. The left-hander gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked one.
“They scored two quick runs, but let’s talk about Skubal,” Fulmer said. “I mean, going six strong there. Not allowing any more runs after the sixth inning. It shows quite the courage he has, to go out there and keep battling knowing that we’re still in the game.”
Giolito (5-5) allowed five runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out eight and sailed through the first five innings before things started to unravel for him.
“I’ve got to give us a better chance there,” he said. “I was doing well and then I put us right in a hole that our offense had to try to climb out of and they gave it a hell of a shot. But I can’t let that get out of hand. I did.”
Abreu extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double and single. But the White Sox lost for the fourth time in five games.
Tigers: OF Austin Meadows (strained right and left Achilles tendons), on a rehab assignment, continues to experience some soreness and was not in the lineup for Triple-A Toledo on Friday. “He has not been shut down, but he’s been slowed down,” manager A.J. Hinch said. … RHP Kyle Funkhouser (strained right shoulder) threw a bullpen session. Hinch said he felt “great” afterward. … RHP Matt Manning (right shoulder inflammation) also threw off the mound, with Hinch saying his next step could me a rehab assignment. … RHP Rony Garcia (sore right shoulder) threw long toss. … The Tigers have RHP Alex Faedo (hip inflammation) penciled in to start one of Monday’s doubleheader games at Kansas City as the 27th man, assuming no setbacks from a bullpen session scheduled for Saturday.
White Sox: OF/1B Andrew Vaughn (illness) was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game. … The White Sox held 3B Yoan Moncada (bruised right foot) out of the lineup. He played in Thursday’s loss to Detroit after leaving Wednesday’s win over Minnesota.
The four-game series continues with Detroit sending RHP Garrett Hill (1-0, 1.50 ERA) to the mound and RHP Johnny Cueto (2-4, 3.30) going for Chicago. Hill won his major league debut by pitching six impressive innings against Cleveland on Monday. Cueto has a 2.88 ERA in five starts against the Tigers, though he hasn’t faced them since 2015.
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