What's Buzzing:

Big League Stew

Alex Rios slide flips Tigers, keys White Sox win

Big League Stew

Aggressive, but clean. Fundamental and timely. This is the kind of slide any baseball fan should love:

Any fan, that is, except for one that roots for the Detroit Tigers, who again got hurt by unreliable defense.

A takeout slide by Alex Rios helped to cause an errant throw by Omar Infante that allowed two runs to score for the White Sox, who beat the Tigers 5-4 on Monday afternoon in a pivotal AL Central game. The White Sox bullpen allowed one baserunner over five scoreless innings to finish off Detroit, which trails first-place Chicago by three games. Both teams have 16 to play in the regular season, but after making up a rainout from last week, none against each other.

Rios' slide, and Detroit's inability to handle it, was the turning point.

The Tigers blew a three-run lead but were up 4-3 in the fifth when Chicago loaded the bases with one out. Dayan Viciedo hit a grounder to short against reliever Al Alburquerque that looked like a sure double play. But Rios had gotten a great jump from first base and slid hard into Infante, who stayed on the bag in order to pivot. Rios made body contact just as Infante let go of the ball and upended him, causing the throw to bounce in the dirt. Prince Fielder couldn't pick it and the ball went into a camera well for a two-base error.

The White Sox managed to turn a similar-looking double play earlier when Gordon Beckham ran across the bag, instead of staying on second, to double-up Jhonny Peralta.

The Tigers came into play fourth in the AL in ERA at 3.85, but have allowed 68 unearned runs this season, third worst in the league after Cleveland and Houston. The White Sox have a team ERA 22 points higher but, conversely, have allowed a league-low 26 unearned runs. That differential is probably why they lead the Central, despite having lost the season series to Detroit 12-6.

But it's not like the White Sox just waited around for the Tigers to implode on defense. They had to take it to them.

At 31 years old, Rios has put together one of the best seasons of his career, which has gone everywhere from All-Star level (twice), to overpaid disappointment — someone let go on waivers by the Blue Jays — to even a bust. But White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson called him the team's MVP and, if not for left-hander Chris Sale, Hawk probably would be right.

Love baseball? Even like it a little?
Follow @AnswerDave, @bigleaguestew, @KevinKaduk on Twitter,
along with the BLS Facebook page!

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Les Carpenter: Time to give Buck Showalter's reputation a rest
Bears defender D.J. Moore goes off on Jay Cutler
Orlando Magic fan sues franchise over use of her image in ads
Y! News: Eleven things that make workers happy

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (17)
  • Bulgak helps No. 14 Florida State beat LIU 78-42

    Adut Bulgak scored 20 points, hitting 10 of her 13 shots, and Brittany Brown added 15 points to lead No. 14 Florida State to a 78-42 win over LIU on Friday in the Blackbirds' Turkey Classic. The Seminoles (4-1) welcomed back guard Leticia Romero, … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Bengals' Andy Dalton adds new dimension by running more

    Andy Dalton has been on the run more than ever, one of the easy-to-overlook developments in his breakthrough season. Not only has the Bengals quarterback been among the NFL's passing leaders all season, he's gotten a better knack for taking off to … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 minutes 5 seconds ago
  • Ward leads No. 21 Houston to 52-31 win over No. 16 Navy

    Ward leads No. 21 Houston to 52-31 win over No. 16 Navy

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Greg Ward, Jr. threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 21 Houston to a 52-31 win over No. 16 Navy on Friday, sending the Cougars to the first American Athletic Conference championship game. … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 minutes 53 seconds ago
  • England win by three runs, claim T20 series v Pakistan

    England survived a late blitz from Shahid Afridi to secure a three-run victory in the second Twenty20 international against Pakistan in Dubai on Friday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. England won the toss and batted … More »

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago
  • Alabama upsets No. 20 Wichita State 64-60

    Alabama upsets No. 20 Wichita State 64-60

    A scary injury to Wichita State forward Anton Grady overshadowed a big win for Alabama. Shannon Hale scored 20 points and Riley Norris added 12 as Alabama upset No. 20 Wichita State 64-60 in the consolation round of the AdvoCare Invitational on … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago