Detroit's bullpen had shut down Chicago until Joba Chamberlain entered for the 10th frame in a 5-5 game. The right-hander walked Melky Cabrera, hit Avisail Garcia and allowed an infield single to pinch-hitter J.B. Shuck before Sanchez delivered the game-winning line drive down the right-field line.
"At the end of the day, I felt like that was the best pitch at the time, with the way I've been able to throw it in certain situations," Chamberlain said. "[Sanchez] did his job, and I didn't do mine."
"I just was looking for a good pitch to hit, trying to put the ball in play," said Sanchez through interpreter and White Sox Spanish-language broadcaster Billy Russo. "Looking for a pitch in the middle-out of the zone ... but it was a slider that came in and I could hit it well."
In the sixth and seventh frames, Detroit had squandered scoring opportunities by grounding into double plays, but the Tigers sent the game to extra innings thanks to a Jose Iglesias sacrifice fly in the eighth. They lost despite outhitting Chicago, 16-10.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Powerful start:Adam Eaton didn't waste much time putting the White Sox on the board against the Tigers and Alfredo Simon. On a 1-0 pitch, the leadoff man pulled his fourth homer of the season over the right-field wall. Eaton set a Major League single-season high for himself with that blast.
"It's a day that we needed," Eaton said. "It's good to have a showing like that and to kind of battle back. We've been behind the eight ball in a sense when it comes to extra innings, offensively."
Rally wreckers: Down 3-2, the Tigers squandered a golden opportunity to tie the game after third baseman Nick Castellanos hit a leadoff triple off White Sox rookie Carlos Rodon in the fourth. Catcher James McCann struck out, and Castellanos was later thrown out trying to score on a ground ball to Sanchez, who was drawn in at second base. The Tigers had also come up empty with two on and two outs in the second and third innings, thanks to a Rajai Davis popout and a J.D. Martinez flyout, respectively. More >
"Nick wasn't supposed to go," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We were holding him."
Struggles in center: Tigers center fielder Davis twice took inefficient routes on fly balls to center field, limiting his ability to make run-saving plays on what became RBI doubles. In the second inning, he appeared to misjudge the distance on a ball off Garcia's bat, and Melky Cabrera scored from first. Three frames later, when Adam LaRoche launched a fly ball into right-center field, Davis first broke toward left, then overcorrected his path, allowing two runs to score.
"It's a tough corner out there, that Raj got a little turned around," Ausmus said. "It would have been a great play if he caught it."
Dancing out of trouble: The Tigers put the first two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth inning against reliever Jake Petricka, with Petricka protecting a one-run lead. No. 2 hitter Kinsler popped up to Petricka on his bunt attempt, and Miguel Cabrera ended the inning when Sanchez turned his hard-hit ground ball into a double play.
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With his fifth-inning two-run shot, J.D. Martinez has more home runs this month (9) than Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes combined.
"You know, it just always seems that the tying run will always -- if not the winning run -- will always come to the plate or on the bases. That's just baseball. Especially in this spot, you just deal with it and look at everything that's laid out there and take your best shot at it." -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on the wild 10th inning
The umpires went to the monitor early when Ventura challenged what had been ruled an inning-ending double play in the second. A 49-second review showed Sanchez had beaten second baseman Kinsler's relay to first, overturning umpire Mark Ripperger's ruling and keeping the inning alive.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox:Jose Quintana takes an 0-2 record and a 7.88 ERA against the Tigers this season into Game 2 of this four-game set on Friday night at Comerica Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET. He has allowed 10 earned runs over his last 33 1/3 innings and has a 2-4 record with a 4.35 ERA over his seven previous road starts.
Tigers: Detroit sends Anibal Sanchez to the mound as the right-hander vies for his fourth straight win. Home runs have plagued Sanchez for much of the season, and he surrendered a pair on Sunday against the Yankees, but he lasted seven innings while allowing three runs.