DETROIT — The Chicago White Sox knew they were in trouble when Tim Anderson grounded out to end the fourth inning.
Chicago still led 3-0, but they had just left the bases loaded without scoring — something they have done too many times this season.
“That’s really been our Achilles heel all season,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “We get a lead, and we give ourselves a chance to add to it, and we don’t take it.”
The White Sox had done the same thing Monday night in a loss to the Tigers, and it cost them again Tuesday. Detroit scored twice in the fifth inning and four times in the sixth on their way to an 8-4 win.
“That’s what makes Detroit so good,” Chicago’s Adam Eaton said. “You saw it yesterday and today. When they get started offensively, they keep going. We had that bases loaded opportunity and didn’t get anything out of it, but when they have a chance to get more runs, they come up with a big hit. We haven’t done that all year.”
The White Sox might have expected a Detroit rally, and couldn’t have been surprised that Ian Kinsler was a big part of it. What they probably weren’t expecting was JaCoby Jones.
In his major league debut, Jones gave the Tigers the lead with a sixth-inning double, and then added a second RBI in the seventh.
“That’s something I’ll never forget, my first big league hit,” he said. “It’s something you work hard for to get here and to do it in the first night at the plate, it’s simply amazing.”
Kinsler came into the game hitting .085 (4 for 47) in his last 13 games, but he hit a two-run homer in the fifth and added a two-run single in Detroit’s four-run sixth inning.
He didn’t mind the spotlight shining on Jones.
“To have your first hit be a big one, with your family here, that’s very cool to see,” he said of his rookie teammate. “He even got the post-game interview and the ice-bucket shower. That’s a great night for him.”
Todd Frazier homered for Chicago.
Bruce Rondon (5-2) picked up the win in relief of Daniel Norris, who allowed three runs in five innings.
Matt Albers (2-6) took the loss, allowing three runs in the sixth after relieving Anthony Ranaudo.
Chicago went ahead with three runs in the second. Frazier provided the first two with his 33rd homer, but Norris couldn’t stop the rally there. Omar Narvaez walked, took third on Tyler Saladino’s double and scored on Adam Eaton’s groundout.
The White Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but Norris was able to induce an inning-ending groundout from Anderson.
That proved important when Kinsler drove a hanging curveball deep into the stands in left field to make it 3-2 in the fifth.
“It took us a while to get going against Ranaudo, because he had the curveball working, he was erratic with his fastball and he was mixing in a changeup and a slider,” Kinsler said. “He was just throwing the ball well, but Daniel kept us in the game.”
Ranaudo returned for the sixth, but was yanked after allowing a leadoff double to J.D. Martinez. Justin Upton greeted Albers with a tying single to center, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked. Jones slapped a double down the right-field line for his first hit and first RBI.
Kinsler followed with a two-run single to give Detroit a 6-3 lead. Chicago got a run back in the seventh on Melky Cabrera’s groundout, but Shane Greene struck out Jose Abreu and Justin Morneau with a runner on third.
J.D. Martinez restored Detroit’s three-run lead with a solo home in the seventh, his third extra-base hit of the game. Jones made it 8-4 late in the inning with a single through a drawn-in infield.
White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (groin) is expected to start a rehab assignment this week, while INF Brett Lawrie continues his with Double-A Birmingham. . LF Cabrera left the game late due to an illness, but expects to play Wednesday.
Tigers: With CF Cameron Maybin still sidelined for a few days with a wrist injury, Detroit promoted Jones from Triple-A Toledo. Jones, acquired from Pittsburgh for Joakim Soria at last year’s trading deadline, can play both third base and center, allowing him to fill in for both Maybin and Nick Castellanos (hand). He started at third on Tuesday.
The teams finish their three-game series Wednesday afternoon, with aces Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.33) and Chicago’s Chris Sale (15-7, 3.14) facing off.