CHICAGO — Bryan Holaday decided on his own to bunt with two outs in the ninth inning and Austin Jackson on third base.
The bunt single brought Jackson home to break a 3-3 tie and the Tigers went on to beat the White Sox, 4-3, on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I just found, apparently they were all yelling at me from the dugout to do it," said Holaday, who added that he did not hear them. "It worked out.
"I was just focusing on the third baseman, seeing what he was doing. I noticed he started in and then he backed up. I thought I would get a chance to lay it down."
Holaday said he got a good pitch.
"It was sinker down in the zone, so I was able to get it off the end of the bat and kill it," Holaday said.
Holaday said he's confident in his bunting ability going back to college at Texas Christian University.
"At TCU, we did it a lot," he said. "I'm confident that I'm able to get it down. That's not a problem."
Holaday didn't find out he was even playing until an hour before batting practice.
Alex Avila's back tightened after early batting practice and he was scratched due to lower back spasms. Avila said he could barely stand up.
Jackson hit a ball to the warning track in right with one out that should have been caught. Dayan Viciedo tried to make a running catch but the ball bounced off his glove and Jackson raced around to third on what was ruled an error.
The Tigers came back from a 3-0 deficit.
Dark clouds hovered overpark during batting practice. It began to rain during the top of the first inning. The rain intensified just before the White Sox were to bat in the bottom of the first and the tarp was brought out before Tigers starter Justin Verlander threw a pitch.
The game resumed after a 21-minute delay. The rain later returned for a couple innings, but the teams played through it.
The White Sox scored all of their runs off Verlander in the third inning. He settled down and gave the Tigers a quality start, allowing six hits, three walks and three earned runs over seven innings with four strikeouts.
With one out in the third, Verlander allowed three consecutive hits — a single to Marcus Semien, an RBI double to Adam Eaton and an RBI single to Gordon Beckham. After getting Jose Abreu to strike out swinging, Verlander gave up an RBI double to Adam Dunn.
"Can't say enough about what Doc did there in the ninth inning, so excited for him," Verlander said of Holaday. "I was a little out of rhythm after six days off. Was able to slow down there after the third inning and kind of establish a little bit of rhythm and have some quicker innings. With my pitch count elevated, it was big to go seven."
Victor Martinez singled to left to score Ian Kinsler in the fourth inning. The Tigers added two more runs in the sixth to tie the game at 3-3.
White Sox left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana struck out five of the first six batters he faced and finished with 10 strikeouts in six innings.
After Rajai Davis struck out for the third time in as many at-bats and Kinsler grounded out in the sixth, Quintana surrendered four consecutive singles — to Miguel Cabrera, Martinez, Hunter and Jackson.
Jackson's single to left-center scored Martinez to tie the game.
Quintana allowed eight hits, no walks and three earned runs over six innings.
Verlander got out of a jam in the seventh. He gave up a one-out triple to Alejandro De Aza, then a walk to Tyler Flowers. Verlander, who had two strikeouts over the first six innings, got Marcus Semien and Adam Eaton to strike out swinging in the seventh. Eaton slammed his bat down in frustration after chasing a ball in the dirt to end the threat.
"I was pleased I was able to make pitches at the end of the ballgame," Verlander said. "I felt like I made a better adjustment on my off-speed stuff as the game went on. That's what led to those strikeouts in the seventh.
"The one to Semien was a slider and the one to Eaton was a curveball."
Joba Chamberlain replaced Verlander in the eighth. After striking out Beckham, he gave up a double to Abreu, then intentionally walked Dunn. Chamberlain fell behind 3-0 before he got Viciedo to strike out looking. Ramirez then hit in a force.
Joe Nathan earned his fifth save of the season, allowing no hits or walks with one strikeout in the ninth.