J.D.'s jack gives Tigers final word over White Sox
By Scott Merkin and Alejandro Zúñiga
DETROIT -- J.D. Martinez's go-ahead home run in the eighth inning powered the Tigers to a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the White Sox on Friday night at Comerica Park.
The right fielder sent the second pitch he saw from reliever Zach Duke into the seats in left field for his 19th home run of the season and 10th of the month. Martinez's shot was the second homer of the night for Detroit, which had tied the game in the seventh thanks to Rajai Davis' solo blast.
"It just feels like I'm getting maybe one hit a game, but it just happens to be a home run," Martinez said. "It's one of those things right now where I can't explain it. You just hit a ball, and it's a home run. It's weird."
Chicago also benefited from the long ball, blasting three home runs of its own against Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez. For the second game in a row, Adam Eaton connected for a leadoff home run, this time on the fourth pitch of the night. First baseman Jose Abreu added a solo shot in the third inning off the top of the fence in left-center field, and Tyler Flowers briefly gave the White Sox the lead in the seventh with a fly ball that stayed just fair down the right-field line.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Restless relief: Tigers closer Joakim Soria surrendered a leadoff double to Avisail Garcia in the ninth, but he followed by striking out Conor Gillaspie on a 71-mph curveball. Then, after J.B. Shuck's pinch-hit single put runners on first and third, Carlos Sanchez popped out on a bunt attempt and Soria induced a weak groundout from Eaton for his 17th save of the year.
"As long as he keeps racking up saves, I'm not worried," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
Abreu goes yard: For the first time since June 12, Abreu went deep. His 49th career homer came against Anibal Sanchez in the third inning and went out to left-center. His homerless streak covered 13 games, while Abreu had gone 12 games without an RBI.
Victor with velocity: Detroit took its first lead of the night in the fifth inning on a triple off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes. A day after being pulled for a pinch-runner for fear he wouldn't score from first on a gapper, Victor Martinez did just that. The designated hitter beat Carlos Sanchez's relay home easily.
"That's about as far as you can get from home plate where he hit that ball -- and they weren't playing no doubles, I don't think, at that point in the game," Ausmus said. "If the throw was on line, I think Victor beats it, but I think it would have been real close."
Another no-decision:Jose Quintana's career no-decision total rose to 44, the highest in the Majors since 2012, when Davis connected for his leadoff homer off of Jake Petricka in the seventh inning. Petricka had gone since May 9, a span of 21 games, without giving up a long ball.
"They have a pretty good lineup, and they are hot. They've had a lot of hits," said Quintana of his six-inning, 11-hit quality-start battle with the Tigers. "But I tried to get my outs. Try to get the game close, but that happens and come back tomorrow."
"To be honest, it sucks, because he takes all the RBIs." -- Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos, who bats behind J.D. Martinez, on the right fielder's recent success
"He's the best hitter in the game. You try to limit what's going on. You try to keep him in the yard. It's hard to do. It sounds crazy, but if he just hits a single, you're like, 'OK, we'll work with that.' And he didn't hit too many singles. He doesn't hit too many singles." -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on Miguel Cabrera
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Cabrera hit three doubles in a game for just the third time in his career. He last accomplished the feat on May 30, 2012, against the Red Sox. More >
• Quintana had not received four runs of support in a game from the White Sox offense since a May 13 start in Milwaukee. He has received four or more runs of support in just four starts total this season.
EATON, THE SLUGGER
Eaton became the first White Sox player with leadoff homers in back-to-back games since Alejandro De Aza on May 8 and May 10, 2013. He was the first White Sox player with leadoff homers on back-to-back days since Kenny Lofton on July 18-19, 2002.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox:John Danks makes start No. 15 on the season and his ninth on the road when he takes the mound against the Tigers on Saturday at 3:08 p.m. CT. Danks is 0-4 with a 6.85 ERA over four June starts, getting one last chance to avoid a winless month.
Tigers:Kyle Ryan will start his fourth game of the season despite throwing two-thirds of an inning in relief on Wednesday. The southpaw lasted just 3 2/3 frames in his last start, but he limited the White Sox to just three hits over seven innings on June 5. First pitch at Comerica Park is scheduled for 4:08 p.m. ET.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.