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James McCann's 9th-inning homer caps Detroit comeback, Tigers beat White Sox 5-4

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DETROIT — Some players go years without hitting a game-ending home run.

Detroit rookie James McCann has done it twice in the past six weeks.

McCann's solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning completed a dramatic Detroit comeback, and the Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Sunday. Detroit trailed 4-0 before scoring four runs in the eighth off Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija.

It was McCann's third homer of the year and his first since May 21, when the Detroit catcher went deep in the 11th inning to beat Houston.

"I think he's been doing a great job," teammate Victor Martinez said. "He's been catching great games, he's been swinging the bat pretty good. At this point I don't think anybody is surprised what he's doing. The guy can hit."

Martinez had the game's other big hit — a three-run double that tied it in the eighth.

Joakim Soria (3-0) pitched a perfect top of the ninth, and McCann's one-out drive off Zach Putnam (1-3) cleared the fence in left field to end the game.

"An 0-2 pitch, I was just looking for something up," McCann said. "I knew it had a chance."

McCann has two game-ending homers in the first 61 games of his career. The last player to do that was Tim Salmon of the California Angels, according to STATS. Salmon's second came in 1993, in his 40th game.

Samardzija allowed only two hits over the first seven innings, but he couldn't make it through the eighth.

Samardzija was breezing along until McCann started the bottom of the eighth with a single. After a walk by Jose Iglesias and a single by Anthony Gose, the Chicago right-hander hit Ian Kinsler to force home the first Detroit run.

Miguel Cabrera struck out, but Martinez found the gap in right-center to clear the bases on Samardzija's 110th and final pitch.

"After he got Miggy, and especially the way he did it, he obviously still had something left in the tank to go after Victor," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We were going hitter by hitter that inning, and we felt like Jeff was the best matchup."

Melky Cabrera homered and had three hits for the White Sox, who scored two runs each in the fourth and sixth. Detroit's David Price allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out five.

PHOTO: Detroit Tigers' James McCann connects for a walkoff home run during the ninth inning off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Zach Putnam in a baseball game, Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Detroit. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 5-4. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Detroit Tigers' James McCann connects for a walkoff home run during the ninth inning off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Zach Putnam in a baseball game, Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Detroit. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 5-4. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Price allowed only one hit through the first three innings, but Jose Abreu led off with a double in the fourth — then advanced to third when Detroit's Yoenis Cespedes fell over while picking up the ball at the fence in left for an error. Avisail Garcia followed with a sacrifice fly, and Melky Cabrera made it 2-0 with his second homer of the season.

Adam Eaton tripled to start Chicago's sixth-inning rally. He scored on Garcia's single, and Adam LaRoche added a sacrifice fly.

CONFUSION

Both Price and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus used the word "miscommunication" to describe what happened after the sixth inning. The left-hander thought he was out of the game, but Ausmus was expecting him to continue. Price said he had gone back to the clubhouse already. He'd thrown 99 pitches.

"I was up here doing arm exercises," Price said. "(Justin Verlander) ran up the tunnel and said, 'You are still in the game.' I said, 'No, I'm not. I have zero uniform on right now.'"

Price said he'd take the blame for the confusion. The Tigers eventually summoned Alex Wilson in from the bullpen.

BOTTOM OF THE ORDER

Samardzija was disappointed about the way the eighth-inning rally started, with Detroit's No. 8 and 9 hitters getting on base.

"I'd say from 2-7, everyone in that lineup is capable of putting up a crooked number at any moment," he said. "The problem was that I didn't get the other guys in that inning. I let McCann get on, and then the walk to Iglesias."

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: Abreu looked as if he was in a bit of discomfort after reaching third base in the fourth, but he stayed in the game. He also remained in after being hit by a pitch in the sixth.

Tigers: C Alex Avila (left knee) caught for Triple-A Toledo on Sunday and went 1 for 3 as part of his rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

Both teams are off Monday.

White Sox: Ace Chris Sale (6-4) takes the mound at St. Louis on Tuesday night. Lance Lynn (5-4) starts for the Cardinals. Sale is the fourth pitcher in major league history to strike out 10 or more in at least seven consecutive starts. His seven-start streak began May 23.

Tigers: Verlander (0-1) returns from a back issue to face Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole (11-3) on Tuesday night.

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PHOTO: Detroit Tigers' James McCann connects for a walkoff home run during the ninth inning off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Zach Putnam in a baseball game, Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Detroit. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 5-4. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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