DETROIT (AP) — After a rough start to the season that included an ankle injury and a prolonged hitting slump, James McCann thought he had a solution earlier this week.
Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus gave McCann a couple days' off to work on a mechanical tweak to his swing, and it turned out to be the best move he could have made.
McCann returned to the lineup Friday night with three hits, including a triple and a homer, and the Tigers went on to beat the Chicago White Sox 10-3.
"He thought he had a mechanical breakthrough, so we sat him down for a couple days to try to make the fix," Ausmus said. "It bore fruit pretty quickly, because he had really been struggling, and that's the best he has looked all year."
McCann hit a solo homer in the second, added an RBI double in the sixth and a triple in the eighth.
"Things obviously haven't been where I needed them to be, so I've been trying to find something that would get me back on track," said McCann, who raised his batting average from .150 to .179. "I eliminated my leg kick, and that seems to have worked."
The Tigers, who won for the second time in seven games, lost Miguel Cabrera in the seventh inning to lower-back tightness. The team listed him as day-to-day.
"He told us it tightened up on a swing in the fifth, and they worked on it, but it got worse in the seventh," Ausmus said. "I'll check with him in the morning, but I expect him to play tomorrow."
Jordan Zimmermann (8-2), who hadn't pitched in 12 days due to a groin strain, lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits. He walked two and struck out three.
"I was a little rusty, and when you are coming back from that much time off, you are a little worried that the next pitch is going to aggravate it," he said. "It felt really good, though, and I was able to help us get a win."
Carlos Rodon (2-5) allowed four runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings. He allowed two homers — his ninth and 10th of the season.
"He was a little erratic, and then he seemed to calm down, but when you can't hit the outside corner, the homers are going to get you," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the second on Avisail Garcia's RBI single, but the Tigers moved ahead in the bottom of the inning on McCann's second homer and a run-scoring single by Ian Kinsler.
Martinez made it 3-1 in the third with a solo homer, but Jose Abreu's double pulled Chicago within 3-2. Jose Iglesias made a sliding stop on J.B. Shuck's grounder, preventing the tying run from scoring, but Zimmermann walked Brett Lawrie and was replaced by Alex Wilson.
Wilson struck out Jimmy Rollins to end the sixth, and McCann's bloop single made it 4-2 in the bottom of the inning. The Tigers added two more runs in the seventh, and four more in the eighth.