Avisail Garcia’s longest mini-slump of the season ended against his former team on Friday night.
Guessing nobody in Detroit is surprised.
The former player came back to haunt his old team yet again as Garcia’s three-run double put the White Sox ahead for good. Combined with five good innings from Mike Pelfrey against the team that cut him in March, the White Sox toppled the Detroit Tigers 8-2 in front of 17,842 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Pelfrey allowed two runs (one earned) and Matt Davidson and Melky Cabrera both homered in support as the White Sox snapped a three-game losing streak.
Prior to the third inning, Garcia had gone hitless in 13 at-bats dating back to his final plate appearance in Saturday night’s blowout win over Seattle. The four games without a hit (he was intentionally walked in his only plate appearance Tuesday) is the longest Garcia has gone without a knock in what has begun to look like a breakout season.
Despite still feeling the effects of a flu that sidelined him Tuesday, Garcia broke out of his slump in a big way. With the bases loaded and two outs in the third, Garcia ripped a 1-0 changeup from Detroit’s Tyler Boyd into the left-field corner to score all three runners and give the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Cabrera and Jose Abreu both singled with two outs and Todd Frazier walked ahead of the double, which exited Garcia’s bat at 114.5 mph, the 24th hardest-hit ball this season in the majors, according to BaseballSavant.com.
Garcia also bounced a pair of singles through the left side to finish 3-for-5. Acquired from the Tigers in July 2013 as part of the three-way deal that sent Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox, Garcia is slashing .295/.338/.481 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs against his former team in 228 plate appearances.
While Garcia broke out of his mini-slumber, Abreu stayed hot with three singles, all of which were rockets off his bat. He finished 3-for-5.
Cabrera has also begun to heat up and finished 3-for-5. His two-out RBI single in the sixth and three-run homer in the eighth provided the White Sox with plenty of margin for error. Davidson’s homer in the sixth inning, his ninth, made it a 4-2 game. He finished with two hits for the White Sox, who had 14.
Pelfrey looked good in a second straight start. He followed up a six-inning effort at Seattle by limiting a Detroit lineup sans Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera to four hits. Pelfrey walked one and struck out seven in an 86-pitch performance.
It’s the first time Pelfrey faced the Tigers since they cut him near the end of spring training. Pelfrey went 4-10 with a 5.07 ERA in 24 games (22 starts) for Detroit in 2016 and was in the final season of a two-year, $16-million deal when they released him on March 30. The White Sox signed the veteran right-hander to a minor-league deal on April 5. He improved to 2-4 and lowered his ERA to 4.41.
Chris Beck, Anthony Swarzak, Dan Jennings, Tommy Kahnle and Gregory Infante combined for four scoreless innings to close it out.