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Tigers-White Sox: Detroit Blows Lead in Ninth

Anthony OrlandoCorrespondent IJuly 25, 2008

Oops, he did it again.

A 5-4 lead with two outs in the top of the ninth was not enough for closer Todd Jones of the Detroit Tigers to put away the Chicago White Sox, in the most pivotal series of the year for both teams.

With Carlos Quentin on first base, Jermaine Dye took Jones deep, with two outs to give the Sox a 6-5 lead.

Bobby Jenks came in to do what every good closer should do in the ninth: close out the ball game.

This will be an exceptionally tough loss for the Tigers, who led most of the game, then found themselves tied, only to re-take the lead on a Carlos Guillen home run in the bottom of the seventh.

Fernando Rodney pitched another gem for the Tigers in the eighth.

The same could not be said for Jones. Who, with two outs, and an 0-2 count, allowed Quentin to single and then threw Dye a 2-0 fastball down the heart of the plate.

It didn't stay in Comerica Park for very long.

The loss, for all intensive purposes became a two-game swing for both teams. Instead of being only 4.5 games back, the Tigers are now 6.5 back, with the next two games seeming like "must wins."

Should the outcome of the season be shouldered by Todd Jones alone?

No. However, the always-shaky closers' antics, which seem fine when the Tigers end up winning, are blemishes that will stand out when they lose.

Especially in a game Jones, and the Tigers, could not afford to lose.

They were just one out away.


WP: D. Carrasco (1-0)

LP: T. Jones (4-1)

Notes: Joel Zumaya, who replaced starter Nate Robertson, did not hold the lead with two runners on and nobody out, allowing both runs to score, along with another unearned run, in the seventh.

This is Todd Jones' third blown save. He has a 4.99 ERA.

Nat Robertson went six innings, giving up three runs (all earned), and walked five batters.

Chicago takes on Detroit again tomorrow in the second of a three-game series. There are eight total games left in the season series.

The Minnesota Twins lost to the Cleveland Indians today, remaining 3.5 back of Chicago.

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