No wonder they were so happy. 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 Monday, forcing a one-game tiebreaker against Minnesota for the AL Central title.
"Tomorrow, 162 games mean nothing. It's only about one game and that's great," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "A good feeling."
When Guillen told Ramirez to relax before batting with the bases loaded, the 27-year-old infielder made a promise.
"I told Ozzie to have confidence in me. I'm going to go out and get these runners home somehow," he said.
Did he ever. Then again, his days on the Cuban national team taught him about big games.
"My team in Cuba was always in the playoffs and I played in the Olympics and international games. I've been in tougher situations, I feel," he said through a translator.
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 -- short rest has been successful trend for many teams in the stretch.
The loss left the Tigers in last place, capping a season they began with hopes of reaching the World Series.
"It's been a tough year," manager Jim Leyland said. "Today pretty much sums up what's gone on all year, really. It hasn't been a very good year and it wasn't a very happy ending."
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.
When Garcia left, things got wild.
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.
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 whose nickname is "The Cuban Missile."
Floyd gave up five hits and one earned in six innings. He struck out eight and walked two while throwing 118 pitches.
"He admitted he was nervous, which was good because if you're not nervous in that situation, there's something wrong with you," White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "He didn't have his best stuff but he battled and made pitches when he had to to get through it."
Pierzynski added an RBI double during a two-run eighth.
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.
Chicago scored in the first but had a much bigger inning brewing when the first three batters reached against Garcia. He walked Orlando Cabrera and Dewayne Wise before Dye hit an RBI single, but retired the next three batters.
Detroit tied it in the fifth as Raburn singled, stole second and scored when Brandon Inge doubled to left over the leaping Wise.
After his early struggles, Garcia rebounded, retiring 11 straight before Griffey singled with two outs in the fourth.
Garcia was 40-21 with Chicago from 2004-06 and won three games in the postseason of 2005, including the clinching Game 4 of the World Series. He is close friends with Guillen and they texted each other leading up to the game.
Guillen warned that the White Sox had better "be ready for Freddy."
Garcia was traded to the Phillies after the 2006 season for Gio Gonzalez and Floyd, and both of the starters wore jersey No. 34 on Monday. Garcia, who had shoulder surgery in August 2007, signed a minor league contract with the Tigers on Aug. 14 of this year and was making his third start for Detroit.
The Twins beat Chicago 10-8 in the season series. The White Sox were 7-2 at home against Twins, but 1-8 at the Metrodome. ... 3B Inge made a dive into the stands for a great catch of Uribe's pop to end the second. ... Ramirez's grand slam was Chicago's 12th of the season, setting a club mark. ... Tigers star Gary Sheffield finished the season with 499 homers.
- Home Plate Umpire - Mike Dimuro
- First Base Umpire - Tim Mcclelland
- Second Base Umpire - Larry Vanover
- Third Base Umpire - Mike Everitt