For the second time of the series against the White Sox, and the third time in as many appearances in a Tigers uniform, Soria allowed at least one run to score. He loaded the bases with one out before hitting Konerko, though he limited the damage to the one run.
Still, the turning point of the decisive inning wasn't necessarily the hit by pitch that allowed the run to score. Instead, it came when Adam Eaton struck out for the frame's first out -- or at least, what appeared to be its first out.
With a 1-2 count on Eaton, Soria threw a chase pitch -- specifically, a curveball in the dirt -- hoping to get him to bite. Eaton bit, but the ball got away from catcher Alex Avila. While it was officially ruled a wild pitch, Avila insisted on carrying most of the blame for giving the White Sox an extra out that they took advantage of.
"It's a ball I block a million times," said Avila. "I should block it. And I didn't. I felt terrible for Soria because it's a whole different inning.
"He threw the ball great."
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus also stressed that, though Soria is coming off his self-described worst outing of his career, this wasn't a loss that should be attributed to him. The righty was acquired in a trade with Texas a week ago.
"I wouldn't say that was a rough outing to be honest with you," Ausmus said. "I thought he threw the ball pretty well."
Soria did do a better job of locating his pitches than he had in the series opener against Chicago, when he self-destructed, allowing four runs off six hits in just one-third of an inning. His velocity was better, too.
"I really did like the way he threw the ball today," Ausmus said.
Detroit starter Drew Smyly, who was sent to the Rays as part of the deal and who had carried no-hitters into the fifth inning of each of his last two starts, wasn't nearly as sharp early Thursday. His last outing of July was also his shortest -- Smyly exited after five innings in which he allowed four runs off 11 hits.
Ausmus said the difference between those last two starts and Thursday for Smyly was his cutter. With the cutter not as crisp as usual, Smyly was forced to rely more heavily on his curveball, which Ausmus said was just "good" compared to "outstanding" in his last start.
The first four White Sox to come to the plate in the second inning all reached via hits, including an RBI double from Gordon Beckham.
In the bottom of the frame, the Tigers responded by having their first four batters reach base, though none with a hit. After Torii Hunter was hit on the leg with a pitch, White Sox starter John Danks issued consecutive walks to J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos, loading the bases. A sacrifice fly from Eugenio Suarez and an Austin Jackson RBI single brought Detroit to within a run. Jackson, headed to Seattle in the Price three-team deal, exited the game in the seventh inning to a standing ovation.
The Tigers took the lead in the third inning, when Hunter and Martinez combined to give the team its fifth set of back-to-back homers . Hunter tied it at 3 with a shot into the visitors' bullpen, and Martinez followed by barely clearing the right-field wall.
Chicago responded in the fourth when Moises Sierra singled home Konerko.
The White Sox took the series by writing the latest chapter of Soria's already rough start in his new home and tacking on two more runs off of Joba Chamberlain in the eighth.