DETROIT — Ian Kinsler broke out of a slump and helped the Detroit Tigers win Tuesday night.
At the end of the game, though, everyone was paying attention to JaCoby Jones.
Jones had two hits and two RBIs in his major league debut, including a sixth-inning double to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
“This is simply amazing,” Jones said. “I don’t know any other words to describe this. Just amazing.”
Jones found out Monday night that he was being called up as the Tigers juggled their roster before the 40-man expansion on Thursday. He had time to call his parents and get them to Comerica Park in time for the game.
They watched from behind the plate as he added an RBI single in the seventh.
“That’s the biggest thing — having them here to see it after all the years they put up with my baseball schedule,” he said.
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 Tim Anderson.
“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.”
That proved important when Kinsler drove a hanging curveball deep into the stands in left field to make it 3-2 in the fifth.
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.
“That’s what makes Detroit so good,” Eaton said. “You saw it yesterday and today. When they get started offensively, they keep going. When they have a chance to get more runs, they come up with a big hit. We haven’t done that all year.”
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). Jones started at third Tuesday.
The Tigers demoted starter Matt Boyd to Triple-A Toledo before the game and recalled reliever Blaine Hardy. With Boyd only lasting four innings in Monday’s start, Hardy will provide bullpen depth. Boyd will return when the rosters expand on Thursday and keep his spot in the rotation.
Tuesday’s starting pitchers – Norris and Ranaudo – are the only American League pitchers to hit homers at Wrigley Field. Norris hit his in 2015, while Ranaudo did it last month.
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.