CHICAGO (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - The Detroit Tigers scored once in the ninth, but left the tying run stranded at third.
The Tigers began a stretch of 14 consecutive games against American League Central foes with a 6-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
Austin Jackson led off the ninth with a double to right and came home on a double to left by Alex Avila.
Avila was replaced by pinch runner Rajai Davis, who went to third when Eugenio Suarez flied out center.
Ian Kinsler struck out looking, to finish 0-for-5 on the night. Torii Hunter, pinch-hitting for Don Kelly (0-for-4), grounded out to third to end the game.
"We came back and got in the game and had the tying run at third there," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. "That was a bright spot."
The lowlights included three errors by the Tigers and poor performance by starting pitcher Rick Porcello, who came into the game having won his last three games at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Our guys did a heck of a job tonight battling and swinging the bats well, especially after a tough travel day that they had last night," Porcello said. "I tip my hat to them. I just didn't hold up my end of the bargain."
Porcello allowed nine hits and six runs (five earned) over five-plus innings with four strikeouts. Of the nine hits he allowed, five were for extra-base hits (three doubles, a triple and a home run).
"Not to disrespect anything that they did tonight and take away how well they swung the bats, but from my side of it, I didn't do a good job of making pitches," Porcello said. "That's what it comes down to."
The top of the order — Adam Eaton, Gordon Beckham, Conor Gillaspie and Jose Abreu — combined to go 9-for-18 (.500) with six RBIs and four runs scored for the White Sox.
Porcello gave up back-to-back hits to start the game. Eaton wound up at third on a line drive to left that J.D. Martinez misplayed. Eaton came home on a RBI single by Beckham.
Tyler Flowers led off the third with a walk, went to third on a one-out double by Beckham and scored on a single by Gillaspie to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
Miguel Cabrera, used as the designated hitter while he nursed a sore hamstring, hit a solo home run to left in the fourth inning. It was Cabrera's 12th home run of the season and his 239th as a Tiger, tying him with Rudy York for seventh in franchise history. Cabrera, nursing a sore hamstring, went 2-for-4.
Shortstop Eugenio Suarez tied the game, 2-2, with a two-out solo home run in the fifth for the Tigers. Suarez became the first Tiger to hit two home runs in their first four career games since Brent Clevlen in 2006. Others Tigers to have two home runs in their first four games with the club include Robert Fick, Gabe Alvarez, Dan Meyer and Purnal Goldy.
The White Sox answered in the bottom of the fifth with three runs, an RBI single for Gillaspie and a two-run home run to left-center by Abreu.
Victor Martinez hit his 15th home run of the season to cut the deficit to 5-4 for the Tigers in the top of the sixth.
Porcello gave up a leadoff bunt single in the sixth, then made a throwing error that allowed Alejandro De Aza to advance to second. Porcello was then replaced by Corey Knebel. De Aza went on to score on an RBI single by Eaton, giving the White Sox a 6-4 lead. That run proved to be the difference.
"That was a play where I just didn't think and airmailed it," Porcello said of his throwing error. "That was a stupid play and I deserved to come out of the game after that."
Porcello said it was a desperation throw. On a night when he didn't have his best stuff, he tried to do a little too much.
"There's nothing you can do when a guy lays down a perfect bunt," he said. "I, for whatever reason, thought I was going to do something about it and didn't have the chance."