The Detroit Tigers lost 19-0 Wednesday to the Milwaukee Brewers. The next day, they took a 12-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
They were blown out again Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field, this time in a 14-0 loss to the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox, who secured their eighth victory against the Tigers in nine attempts this season.
The Tigers (20-25) only managed five hits – two in the ninth – and have lost nine of their last 12 games. They are four games back of the New York Yankees for the AL’s eighth and final spot in the expanded 16-team playoffs.
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Meanwhile, the White Sox recorded 19 hits, including a pair of three-run homers from first baseman Jose Abreu in the fourth and fifth innings. They scored two runs in the third inning, three in the fourth, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Abreu finished 4-for-4 with seven RBIs and one walk. Shortstop Tim Anderson had a four-hit performance to improve to 18-for-35 (.514) in eight clashes with Detroit in 2020.
Every member of Chicago’s starting lineup, along with pinch-hitter Adam Engel, had a hit.
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The three-game series – and season series with the White Sox – concludes Sunday. Right-hander Spencer Turnbull, who has a 3.36 ERA, is slated to start for Detroit.
Fulmer didn’t get help from home plate umpire Nic Lentz in the first inning when a 3-2 sinker apparently inside the strike zone to Yasmani Grandal was called a ball – putting two runners on with one out; they moved up on a passed ball by catcher Grayson Greiner.
Instead of bouncing back, Fulmer then gave up three consecutive hits: a single to Abreu, double to Eloy Jimenez and single to Edwin Encarnacion for a 3-0 lead.
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Fulmer got through the second inning, mainly because of an uncanny 3-6-1 double play, but gave up two more runs in the third. He was pulled for left-handed reliever Daniel Norris with two outs after Nomar Mazara’s two-RBI double.
Mazara is now 6-for-12 in his career against Fulmer.
The questionable call from Lentz in a potential strike-him-out, throw-him-out moment, combined with Greiner’s passed ball, didn’t help Fulmer. But neither did his nine hits
over 2⅔ innings, with one walk and one strikeout.
Fulmer’s 59 pitches included 36% sliders, 31% sinkers, 17% four-seam fastballs, 12% curveballs and 5% changeups. He got six strikes swinging and five called strikes.
The 27-year-old has only made it through three innings in four of his eight starts and has a 9.27 ERA. Although he is coming back from Tommy John surgery, manager Ron Gardenhire has said Fulmer is allowed to go into the fourth inning if he can be efficient.
That hasn’t happened yet.
In Norris’ seven games out of the bullpen entering Saturday, he had only given up four earned runs in 19⅓ innings, with 19 strikeouts and one walk.
Against the White Sox, he repeated his strikeout success with three in 1⅓ innings. But he allowed three earned runs, two hits and two walks. One of those hits was a three-run homer by Abreu.
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Right-hander Rony Garcia, who entered for the fifth inning, couldn’t slow Chicago’s lineup, either. He gave up four runs – including another three-run blast to Abreu – before getting two strikeouts to end the frame.
The sixth and seventh innings were pitched by lefty Nick Ramirez, who conceded two runs on three hits and one walk. He had two strikeouts.
Joe Jimenez tossed in the eighth inning and was the only pitcher who did not allow a run. He lowered his ERA to 10.13.
The only chance the Tigers had to score Saturday came in the fourth inning. Shortstop Willi Castro reached on a two-out single, which was followed by a double to right field from Jorge Bonifacio.
Trying to score from first base, Castro stoppe…