Jeimer Candelario had three hits and Akil Baddoo drove in two runs as Detroit built a big lead, and the Tigers withstood José Abreu's three-run homer in the ninth inning in a 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Detroit won the final two games of the series for its first series win over the White Sox since Sept. 3-5, 2018. The Tigers are 29-22 from May 8 on but are just 38-46 overall.
"Our record still isn't great, but I think teams respect the way we've been playing since the beginning of May,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We've done a good job against both Cleveland and Chicago this week.”
Tigers reliever Gregory Soto was forced to change his glove before pitching the ninth inning with a 6-2 lead.
“It was a red glove, which is legal, but it had darkened from use,” Hinch said. “There was nothing sticky, but the umpiring crew wanted as close to a brand-new glove as possible.”
Soto switched to another glove from his locker, then struggled. Billy Hamilton and Tim Anderson singled, and Abreu hit his 14th homer with one out. Soto struck out Brian Goodwin and walked Leury García.
José Cisnero relieved and needed one pitch for his fourth save in five chances, retiring Andrew Vaughn on a lineout to right.
“I liked the way we came back against a really good relief pitcher,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “We got two hits and Abreu hits one out. Even Vaughn put a great swing on the ball -- if that's closer to the corner, it's a tie game and we're still playing.”
Tyler Alexander (1-1) allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings to win in relief of rookie Matt Manning, who gave up two runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.
“I thought Matt showed some real progress today,” Hinch said. “If a regular start, we would let him power through that, but the left side of our bullpen was fresh so that's the direction we went.”
Lucas Giolito (6-6) dropped to 1-2 in his last six starts. He allowed six runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings, and he is 0-3 in four starts against Detroit this season.
“That was pretty terrible,” he said. ”I gave up six runs and put the team in a bad position to try to win the game."
Giolito's fastball spin rate was down 10% from his May 30 win against Baltimore, his last outing before Major League Baseball started discussing its intended crackdown on grip-enhancing substances. His slider spin rate was down 15%.
“My stuff is fine, but I can't get it where I need it to be,” he said. “Today was a lack of fastball command and a lack of changeup command. I couldn't put anyone away with two strikes.”
Baddoo reached on an infield single in the first, stole second and scored on Robbie Grossman's groundout. Harold Castro hit an RBI single in the second, and Baddoo hit a two-run double for a 4-0 lead.
“We're trying to put pressure on teams,” said Baddoo, who leads the team with 13 stolen bases. “We know we have to run the bases with a lot of energy to make them worry about us.”
Chicago closed in the third on Abreu's RBI single and García's sacrifice fly.
Candelario hit an RBI double in the fifth and scored on Erc Haase's single for a 6-2 lead.
White Sox reliever José Ruiz left in the seventh inning after LaRussa noticed a change in his delivery.
“He started pulling off his delivery, which is very concerning,” LaRussa said. “He said he could pitch, but I didn't want to take any chances with him.”
White Sox: RHP Dylan Cease (7-3, 3.75) is scheduled to start Monday's series opener at Minnesota against RHP Bailey Ober (0-1, 5.84), the last stop on a nine-game trip.
Tigers: RHP Wily Peralta (1-1, 3.21) is to open Monday at Texas against LHP Kolby Allard (2-4, 3.46).