CHICAGO (AP) — Spencer Torkelson hit a tiebreaking solo home run in the seventh inning, Tarik Skubal worked seven solid innings and the Detroit Tigers ran their winning streak to four games with a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Torkelson turned on a full-count sidearm sweeper from Aaron Bummer with two outs, and launched it 436 feet into the bleachers in left field for his team-leading 25th homer that gave Detroit a 3-2 lead.
“Man, did he get a good pitch and had a really good at-bat,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “Big swing and when it changes the game, it changes the score.”
Usually the Tigers’ first baseman, the 24-year-old Torkelson was the designated hitter on Sunday, as 40-year-old Miguel Cabrera rested. The emerging right-handed slugger crushed the eighth pitch of the at-bat with Bummer, a lefty.
“I wasn’t exactly looking for it (a sweeper),” Torkelson said. “I knew because he showed me, I think like four or five previously, in the at-bat. I knew he had a good sinker, so that’s what I was kind of looking for No. 1, and then I just kind of popped it a little bit.”
Carson Kelly drove in two runs with a double in the second inning that tied the game at 2 as the Tigers completed a three-game sweep of Chicago.
Eloy Jiménez and Elvis Andrus had RBIs for Chicago, which has lost three in a row and five of six.
Skubal (4-3) allowed two runs in the first and then settled down. The 26-year-old left-hander allowed five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in his longest outing since returning on July 4 from left forearm flexor tendon surgery.
“It feels great every time you go out there, that’s what you expect,” said Skubal, who threw 97 pitches. “Put your team in a position to win and eat as many innings as you can within your pitch count.”
Jason Foley pitched a perfect eighth and Alex Lange worked around a single and walk in the ninth for his 21st save. The Tigers closed the game with a snazzy 4-6-3 double play.
White Sox starter Michael Kopech walked five of the first 10 Detroit batters he faced and was replaced by Tanner Banks with two outs in the second. Kopech allowed two runs on the five passes and one hit, missing the strike zone with 28 of 44 pitches.
Cabrera was held out of the starting lineup as expected in a day game following a night contest. Cabrera, who plans on retiring at the end of the season, had four hits on Saturday night to move past George Brett into 17th place for all-time career hits with 3,158.
The White Sox’s Andrus, a friend of Cabrera and fellow Venezuelan, said he bought “Miggy” a parting gift of Rémy Martin Louis XIII cognac. A .75 liter bottle retails for $4,300 online at a major Chicago liquor store chain. “If I bought him something cheap, he’d throw it away,” Andrus quipped.
White Sox: All-Star CF Luis Robert Jr. sat out a second game with cramping in his right quad. Robert entered Sunday second in the AL with 35 homers. … 3B Yoán Moncada finished the game wearing a knee brace, Grifol said.
Tigers: Detroit had not yet named a starter for the opener of a three-game series against the Yankees in New York on Tuesday. RHP Gerrit Cole (12-4, 2.95) pitches for the Yankees.
White Sox: RHP Jesse Sholtens (1-6, 3.97) faces Royals LHP Cole Ragans (5-4, 3.27) on Monday in Kansas City.