June 30: Chicago 9, Detroit 7
Chicago had one of their three aces going in each game of this series. Eddie Cicotte, Chris Sale, and Ed Walsh all entered the series with one of the eight lowest ERAs in the league among qualified hurlers.
In game one, Cicotte wasn’t exactly lights out, but he carried a comfortable 9-4 lead into the top of the ninth. He didn’t have enough left in the tank to finish off a complete game though. He got his first man, then Charles Gehringer singled and Norm Cash struck out for the second out, but the third out eluded Cicotte. Ty Cobb tripled, Harry Heilmann doubled, and out came Cicotte. The next two batters also got hits, and suddenly Detroit was within two runs, but Bill Freehan flew out to finish the rally two runs shy.
Chicago pushed across nine runs without belting an extra base hit all day. In the sixth inning alone, they chalked up five singles, two walks, and one Detroit error to plate six.
R H BB DET 010 000 213 - 7 14 2 CHI 000 306 00x - 9 9 6 HR: B. Freehan (7) starters IP R ER HR BB SO B. Donovan 5.2 9 5 0 5 2 E. Cicotte 8.2 7 7 1 2 1 DET 37-42, CHI 39-40
July 1: Detroit 5, Chicago 2
The Tigers evened the series the next day thanks to the bottom of their order getting to Chris Sale. Gehringer and Freehan both scored after tripling, and light-hitting George Kell surprised everyone by belting two homers in the ninth spot (in addition to a single). Chicago’s number nine hitter Sherm Lollar also launched a dinger.
R H BB DET 020 100 101 - 5 7 2 CHI 000 110 000 - 2 7 4 HR: G. Kell-2 (5), S. Lollar (6) starters IP R ER HR BB SO G. Uhle 7.2 2 2 1 3 3 C. Sale 7.0 4 4 1 2 3 DET 38-42, CHI 39-41
July 2: Chicago 6, Detroit 4
Ed Walsh was more dominating than Cicotte or Sale had been for his first eight innings, and looked to have the shutout in the bag as he started the ninth with a 6-0 lead. But suddenly things went wonky as Gehringer led off with a single, Cash walked, Sam Crawford reached on a Magglio Ordonez error, and Miguel Cabrera singled in two runs. All of this with still nobody out. Matt Thornton relieved Walsh, but gave up a double to his first batter, Bobby Veach. Then Thornton settled down, whiffed Al Kaline, and got Johnny Bassler and Kell to both fly out to again squash a last minute Detroit rally short.
R H BB DET 000 000 004 - 4 8 4 CHI 000 020 40x - 6 7 5 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Verlander 6.1 6 5 0 5 7 E. Walsh 8.0 4 2 0 4 1 DET 38-43, CHI 40-41