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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Cintron to the Rescue, Part II

June 7, vs. Detroit

How was the trophy defended today?
5th straight win against Detroit in 2006 cuts division lead down to 1/2 game.

Short Take: Making 2nd straight start for Juan Uribe, Alex Cintron gets 2nd straight game winning hit as Sox beat Detroit 4-3, cut deficit in Central to 1/2 game.

The old axiom in baseball is that you generally don't lose a starting role on a team due to injury, even if the player who replaces you plays fantastic ball.  But, what is the axiom for a player who is replaced while tending to his wife in labor?  Maybe Alex Cintron won't be breaking down any time honored baseball fraternal codes, but for the 2nd-straight game, playing in leiu of Juan Uribe, who is with his wife as they welcome a new child into the world, Cintron provided the game winning hit against the American League Central leading Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Tigers started the game on the wrong foot, literally.  After scoring the first run of the game on a Curtis Granderson solo shot, the Sox struck back in the bottom of the third.  With hero-to-be Alex Cintron on second, Scott Podsednik lofted a deep fly ball to his counterpart, Craig Monroe in left field.  Monroe misplayed the ball at the track, and even more disastrous for Detroit, sprained his right ankle on the play, forcing him from the game.  Cintron would score to knot the affair at 1.

The pitching was stingy in this game, but each team did manager to manufacture some runs.  With Jose Contreras on the mound, the Sox had to feel good about their chances, but he handed Detroit the lead in the next frame, walking Magglio Ordonez and allowing a 1-out single by Carlos Guillen, before allowing Maggs to score on a sacrifice fly by Marcus Thames.  Facing whiz kid, Justin Verlander, though, the Pale Hose offense continued to chug along.  As quickly as the Tigers had regained a 1-run advantage, Verlander coughed it up, allowing a solo home run to Magg's replacement in right, the cheaper, more productive, and less volitale Jermaine Dye.  Sox 2, Tigers 2.

Though Contreras would not allow another earned run in the affair, this was not a vintage Jose Contreras dominating effort.  The Tigers put 13 men on base, including 4 free passes from the Cuban righty.  Detroit seemed eternally on the verge of breaking the game open, but hey, when he needed to make a pitch, he did, as evidenced by Magglio Ordonez's strike out to end the 5th with the go ahead-run on in scoring position.

The Sox notched their first lead of the game in the 6th when Jim Thome took Verlander over the right field wall.  However, the pesky Kitties refused to roll over, and after a walk to Granderson and single by Placido Polanco, they again threatened with 2 men on and one out.  Contreras induced a slow roller from Ordonez, but the ball had too little juice on it, and a misplay by Joe Crede at third and then a terrible, desperation throw to first, allowed the tying run to score.

Crede redeemed himself, however, singling to lead off the 7th and chasing Verlander from the game.  With Jamie Walker now pitching, Rob Mackowiak sacrificed Crede into scoring position, for Cintron, who laced a single into left field that was misplayed by Alexis Gomez, playing for the aforementioned Monroe.  The bullpen was lights out.  Neal Cotts and Augustin Montero combined to toss a perfect 8th, and Bobby Jenks allowed just one hit, but faced the minimum in the 9th as he got Ordonez to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the game and seal a 4-3 Sox win.

The Tigers' lead in the division is down to just 1/2 a game, the slimmest margin since May 20 when the Sox and Tigers stood tied atop the Central.  The Tigers have also cooled down remarkably, losers of their last three series, perhaps coincidentally, against the American League's three undisputed best teams, New York, Boston, and of course, our beloved Pale Hose.  Detroit is 0-5 against the Sox in '06, 2-5 against the Yankees and Red Sox, and 35-12 against the rest of baseball.  If a team smells like a fluke, walks like a fluke, maybe they just are a fluke.

The Sox go for the jugular tomorrow night against Detroit.  Jon Garland and Kenny Rogers hook up as the Sox make their bid at 2nd sweep of Detroit and to regain the lead in the Central division.  First pitch is 7 PM at the Cell.

Ozzieball Update: 
Dye and Thome's homers huge of course, but the winning run set up by successful sacrifice in 7th inning.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jim Thome

21st homer of the season gave Sox their first lead of the game and would have been the winning run if Crede fields Ordonez's grounder in the 7th cleanly... or doesn't throw it into the Detroit dugout.

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