CHICAGO -- Alexei Ramirez set a rookie record with his fourth grand slam of the season, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers, 8-2, in a rainout makeup Monday, forcing a one-game tiebreaker today against Minnesota for the AL Central title.
John Danks will start for Chicago on three days’ rest against Nick Blackburn. The winner begins the playoffs at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
“Tomorrow, 162 games mean nothing. It’s only about one game, and that’s great,” White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen said. “A good feeling.”
When Guillen told Ramirez to relax before batting with the bases loaded, the 27-year-old infielder made a promise.
“I told Ozzie to have confidence in me. I’m going to go out and get these runners home somehow,” he said.
Washed out earlier this month, Chicago and Detroit waited through a rain delay of more than three hours before starting. Gavin Floyd (17-8) won on three days’ rest.
The loss left the Tigers in last place, capping a season they began with hopes of reaching the World Series. “It’s been a tough year,” Manager Jim Leyland said. “Today pretty much sums up what’s gone on all year, really. It hasn’t been a very good year, and it wasn’t a very happy ending.”
Detroit, with nothing really to play for, took a 2-1 lead into the sixth. But former White Sox ace Freddy Garcia, who’d given up only two hits to that point, had to leave with tightness in his right shoulder with a runner on second and no outs.
Leyland summoned Armando Galarraga (13-7), and he threw two wild pitches that allowed the tying run to score.
After Jermaine Dye walked, Bobby Seay relieved and threw Detroit’s third wild pitch of the inning. Jim Thome struck out, but after an intentional walk to Paul Konerko, Seay also walked Ken Griffey Jr. to load the bases.
Ramirez sent the first pitch from Gary Glover, another former White Sox pitcher, into the bleachers in left-center.