Chicago and Detroit are anticipating the return of run-producers to their lineup in the near future. The White Sox were minus the bat of slugger Matt Davidson on Saturday for a fourth straight game, but didn’t need him as Chicago got two home runs from Tim Anderson plus one apiece from Jose Abreu
Anderson and Jose Abreu each hit a solo drive in the fifth, tying it at 3. Daniel Palka led off the sixth with a tiebreaking shot off Francisco Liriano (3-2), and Anderson’s three-run homer against Louis Coleman made it 7-3 White Sox.
Anderson also connected during Friday night’s 5-4 loss to Detroit. He is up to 10 homers so far this season.
Santiago (1-2) allowed three runs, two earned, and seven hits in five innings in his first win since May 9, 2017, for Minnesota against the White Sox. He had gone 0-8 with an 8.61 ERA in his previous 11 starts.
Detroit – Niko Goodrum should consider keeping a diary. Each night, he could begin his notations by listing the position he played in today’s game, which in his case is enough to ensure something different for an entire week’s entries, at least. Saturday, it was second base as the Tigers dressed
Detroit – Niko Goodrum should consider keeping a diary.
Each night, he could begin his notations by listing the position he played in today’s game, which in his case is enough to ensure something different for an entire week’s entries, at least.
Saturday, it was second base as the Tigers dressed for a 4:10 p.m. game against the White Sox at Comerica Park. Goodrum, of course, has started games at all four infield spots for the Tigers – he has outfield starts, as well – and Saturday was replacing Dixon Machado, who is having deep frustrations as Machado works through swing-changes proposed by the Tigers.
Goodrum’s story is a spicy tale of reincarnation after he escaped a career-long entombment in the Twins farm system and last autumn signed with the Tigers as a minor-league free agent.
Spicy, in fact, is how Goodrum likes his meals, at least when he orders from his favorite downtown Detroit haunt, Go!Sy Thai, on Cass Avenue, near the apartment in which he lives away from the ballpark and from road trips.
With his takeout order in tow, he retires to his loft for an evening of relaxation spent watching the NBA playoffs. On a night when playoffs aren’t airing, he’ll watch movies or listen to music, all the while savoring a man’s first two months in the big leagues.
Goodrum, 26, is batting .235 as a Tigers part-timer and fill-in handyman for manager Ron Gardenhire. It fulfills thoughts Goodrum had last autumn when he and his agent were listening to overtures from clubs that included, other than the keenly interested Tigers, the Orioles and Blue Jays.
“They didn’t have Romine,” Goodrum said, speaking of Andrew Romine, the former Tigers one-man band who had been lost on waivers to the Mariners. “I saw an opening there. It just felt right to me.”
Teams had natural interest in a 6-foot-3, 198-pound, switch-hitter who had been good enough to lure a second-round draft chip from the Twins. He has had his moments, but for the most part, Goodrum has been a deft sub who has five homers in only 102 at-bats.
He, of course, can play anywhere but catcher and pitcher – don’t exclude any possibilities in 2018 – but, if pressed, will tell you he probably feels most at home playing shortstop.
“It’s all I played as a kid in high school,” said Goodrum, who grew up in Fayetteville, about a half-hour south of Atlanta.
His flexibility was appreciated Saturday as Gardenhire and the Tigers work, as much psychologically as mechanically, on Machado and his current miseries.
Tigers hitting coaches Lloyd McClendon and Phil Clark are trying to retool a swing that has been too long, too airborne, and too pull-prone.
It has not been going smoothly. Gardenhire noticed during Friday’s batting practice that Machado was popping-up pitches and growing more upset, if not despondent.
“I told him, this is his career, not my career,” Gardenhire said of his counseling session, during which he wanted Machado to know he needed to be comfortable with a transition the Tigers believe, ultimately, could be a boost.
“We talked about it, swing changes that might help get the ball out of the air and get more ground balls and line-drives,” Gardenhire said. “This is a big park.”
The Tigers had other adjustments in place Saturday as Francisco Liriano warmed for a start against Chicago’s Hector Santiago.
Victor Reyes was getting a start in left field as JaCoby Jones moved to center, in part to give Leonys Martin’s still-healing hamstring a break.
It was also designed to make Reyes feel as if he was something other than a human dugout bench.
“He had no at-bats on that last road trip,” Gardenhire said, “and that’s my bad.”
Reyes, of course, is a Rule 5 pick who last season was playing Single A ball for the Diamondbacks. The Tigers grabbed him as the first pick in December’s Rule 5 draft and must keep him on the active 25-man roster for the duration of this season – or return him to Arizona.
Gardenhire also announced Saturday that starter Jordan Zimmermann, who has been out with a right-shoulder impingement, will make his first rehab start Sunday at Toledo in a 6:05 p.m. game against Norfolk.
Jordan Zimmermann is taking the next step of his recovery.
Zimmermann will begin a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Sunday afternoon, Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said on Saturday.
Zimmermann has been sidelined since May 7 with a right shoulder impingement.
The plan is for the right-hander to make at least two rehab starts, Gardenhire said. He will be on a 60-pitch limit on Sunday evening against Triple-A Norfolk in Toledo.
Zimmermann has progressed through a throwing program which included multiple bullpen sessions. His DL stint – the third of his Tigers’ tenure – came as a surprise, just two days after throwing five scoreless innings against the Royals on May 5.
In his absence, lefty Blaine Hardy has stepped into the Tigers’ rotation.
Zimmermann, 32, is 2-0 with a 4.88 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in seven starts this season. He has struck out 32 batters in 31⅓ innings.
Zimmermann signed a five-year, $110-million deal before the 2016 season. He is owed $24 million this season and $50 million over the next two.
Miguel Cabrera ran on the field for a second straight day before Saturday afternoon’s game against the White Sox at Comerica Park.
Cabrera is on the 10-day DL with a right hamstring strain. He has been taking batting practice consistently and recently started fielding ground balls at first base.
Gardenhire offered this update on his progression: “Miguel’s been doing fine. He did fine again yesterday. He’s still a little stiff afterwards, after he did the running but he did his running. Fielding the ground balls, he was a little stiff so he was coming in here today and was in the training room early and we’re going back out so we’ll see what he does today. The back-to-back days are the big one. Can you go back out there and do it again? That’s what we have to see.”
Gardenhire said Cabrera will not need to complete a minor-league injury rehab assignment before returning to the lineup.
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The White Sox own baseball’s worst record at 15-33, and Santiago will try to help them shake off a disappointing loss in the series opener Friday opener in which they blew a two-run lead in the eighth inning and went on to lose 5-4.
Manager Rick Renteria said he expects from Santiago “what we do with all our guys, just give us a good outing, eat up some innings, keep us in the game and hopefully we can put some runs on the board and close the game out.”
Santiago gave up three home runs in his last start, a home loss to the Orioles on Monday.
The question is whether Santiago can get that kind of help from his own offense. Sox starters’ 3.99 run support average ranks lowest in the American League.
Here’s the lineup for Saturday:
Tim Anderson, SS
Yolmer Sanchez, 3B
Jose Abreu, 1B
Matt Davidson, DH
Daniel Palka, RF
Yoan Moncada, 2B
Adam Engel, CF
Trayce Thompson, LF
Alfredo Gonzalez, C