Too many shouldas for the young White Sox on Tuesday night.
They shoulda held onto that early lead Justin Verlander staked them. They shoulda come through in the clutch late. Right fielder Dayan Viciedo shoulda caught that fly ball.
The veteran Detroit Tigers made it happen.
Catcher Bryan Holaday’s two-out, bunt-base hit in the ninth inning allowed Detroit to complete a comeback and sneak away with a 4-3 win over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth against the White Sox, who had the go-ahead run in scoring position with one out in the seventh and eighth innings only to come up empty twice.
“We had opportunities,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We just didn’t cash in on them.”
The Tigers did.
They made the most of a two-out rally in the ninth against reliever Ronald Belisario (1-3). Jackson hammered a 3-2 fastball to deep right that resulted in a three-base error when Viciedo couldn’t haul it in, a difficult play but one Ventura said should have been made.
Holaday then dropped a perfect bunt on a 1-1 fastball and even though he made it close, Belisario couldn’t make the play. Belisario allowed an unearned run and a hit while striking out three over two innings.
“It was a pretty good bunt,” Belisario said. “Perfect, nothing you could do right there. I almost got it, but you know the grass is wet and I couldn’t get a good grip.”
The White Sox appeared to have a steady hold on the contest before Detroit rallied against Jose Quintana.
The Tigers got an RBI single from Victor Martinez in the fourth inning and two more by Torii Hunter and Jackson in the sixth to even the score against Quintana, who struck out 10. Detroit had four straight singles in the sixth inning but Quintana stranded a pair with a strikeout of Nick Castellanos.
The left-hander allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings and matched Detroit ace Justin Verlander.
“I needed to keep the game close because Verlander’s a really good pitcher,” Quintana said. “But the sixth inning was a really big inning for me. I gave up two runs, tied game.”
The White Sox scored three times in the second inning against Verlander but didn’t get many other chances. Adam Eaton and Adam Dunn each doubled in runs and Gordon Beckham singled in another in between as the White Sox grabbed a 3-0 lead.
But after they hit his fastball early, Verlander switched to his curveball in the middle innings and retired 11 of 15, including strikeouts of Marcus Semien and Eaton with runners on the corners in the seventh inning.
The White Sox also had two aboard in the eighth inning as Jose Abreu doubled with one out and Dunn was walked. But Joba Chamberlain (1-1) struck out Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez grounded out.
“That’s what great pitchers do,” Eaton said of Verlander. “They bear down when they need to do it. When Q pitches his butt off and gets three runs through eight innings, offensively we definitely need to kick it in. We missed some chances there.”