- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - J.D. Martinez remains modest in the middle of a power surge at the plate.

“It just feels like I’m getting maybe one hit a game, but it just happens to be a home run,” the Detroit outfielder said.

Martinez actually had two hits Friday night, and the second one was indeed a homer - a solo shot in the eighth inning that lifted the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Martinez now has six homers in his last five games - he hit three against the New York Yankees on Sunday.

Martinez now has 19 homers on the season after hitting 23 for Detroit in 2014.

Bruce Rondon (1-0) pitched a perfect top of the eighth for Detroit, earning his second major league win and first since 2013. Joakim Soria finished for his 17th save in 19 chances.

Soria allowed a leadoff double by Avisail Garcia in the ninth, and pinch-hitter J.B. Shuck hit a one-out single, putting men on first and third. But Carlos Sanchez popped up a bunt for the second out, and Adam Eaton grounded out to end it.

The Tigers trailed 4-3 in the seventh, but Rajai Davis led off with a homer that inning, and Martinez went deep off Zach Duke (3-3) in the eighth.

Eaton, Jose Abreu and Tyler Flowers hit solo homers for Chicago off Anibal Sanchez. Flowers’ shot gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead in the seventh, but the bullpen couldn’t hold on.

Chicago took the opener of this four-game series in 10 innings Thursday, and Eaton led off Friday’s game with a homer. Detroit tied it in the bottom of the first on an RBI double by Miguel Cabrera, the first of three two-baggers on the night for the Detroit slugger.

Abreu homered in the third to deep left-center, but Jose Iglesias tied it with an RBI single in the fourth. Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI triple in the fifth for the Tigers.

Sanchez allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

The Detroit right-hander has pitched better of late, but he’s now allowed 18 home runs on the season.

Chicago’s Jose Quintana allowed three runs and 11 hits in six innings.

Rondon missed all of 2014 because of Tommy John surgery, and he was dealing with biceps tendinitis this season. He made his 2015 debut Thursday, and he looked sharp when the Tigers brought him back in a crucial spot a day later.

BOTCHED BUNT

Sanchez hit a bases-loaded triple for the White Sox in the 10th inning Thursday, but he squared to bunt a day later with the game on the line. The pitch was a bit high, and he couldn’t get the ball down.

“We gave him the option to do it, but he picked the wrong pitch. That’s a play where you have to know you can get the bunt down, or at least foul,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s a great play in that situation, because (Cabrera) has to hold Shuck, so if you get it down, you are going to get the run in and have another runner in scoring position for Adam.”

HUFFING AND PUFFING

Victor Martinez, who has had multiple knee operations in the past few years, scored from first on Cespedes’ triple. On Thursday, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus removed Martinez for a pinch-runner in the ninth inning in a similar spot - with the runner at first and two outs and Cespedes batting. Detroit didn’t score, and the move backfired when Martinez’s spot in the order came up again the next inning.

Friday’s scenario was much earlier in the game, and Martinez was able to make it around the bases on Cespedes’ drive to right-center.

“That’s about as far as you can get from home plate, where he hit that ball,” Ausmus said. “They weren’t playing no-doubles, I don’t think, at that point of the game. If the throw is on line, I think Victor beats it, but I think it would have been real close.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: RHP Matt Albers (broken finger) began a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Charlotte at Rochester. He pitched a scoreless inning.

Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (back) is expected to throw a bullpen session Saturday. He could return Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Chicago LHP John Danks (3-8) faces Detroit LHP Kyle Ryan (1-1) on Saturday, weather permitting.

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