Alexei Ramirez slam lifts Chisox into playoff with Twins
By RICK GANO
AP Sports Writer
By RICK GANO
CHICAGO — Alexei Ramirez spread his arms wide and raced around the bases like a little kid. The White Sox would play one more day.
Ramirez set a rookie record with his fourth grand slam of the season, and Chicago beat Detroit 8-2 in a rainout makeup today, forcing a one-game tiebreaker against Minnesota for the AL Central tie.
The Twins will visit the White Sox tomorrow night. The winner then opens the first round of the playoffs at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
A day after the regular season ended for everyone else, the White Sox and Twins found themselves tied at 88-74.
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.
Detroit, with nothing really to play for, took a 2-1 lead into the sixth. But former White Sox ace Freddy Garcia, who'd allowed only two hits to that point, had to leave with tightness in his right shoulder with a runner on second and no outs.
And then things got wild.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland summoned Armando Galarraga (13-7) — the team's best starter this season — 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 left-center field bleachers, setting off a happy trip around the bases for the rookie from Cuba, whose nickname is "The Cuban Missile."
Ramirez clapped his hands in glee and leaped into the arms of Konerko at the plate as a crowd announced at 35,923 cheered.
A.J. Pierzynski hit an RBI double in a two-run eighth.
Floyd gave up five hits and one earned in six innings. He struck out eight and walked two while throwing 118 pitches.
Floyd's error helped Detroit take a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
Miguel Cabrera doubled with one out before Marcus Thames hit a hard liner that White Sox third baseman Juan Uribe snagged for the second out.
When Ryan Raburn hit a slow roller between the plate and mound, Floyd bobbled the ball while reaching down to pick it up and threw high past Konerko at first, allowing Cabrera to score.