DETROIT — Danny Mendick knew he might have been the odd man out when Adam Engel returned from his hamstring injury.
But Billy Hamilton strained his oblique last weekend, ensuring Mendick would stick.
When second baseman Nick Madrigal went on the 60-day injured list Thursday, Mendick became further entrenched.
“You never wish an injury upon anybody, especially a guy like Nick, a competitor like that,” Mendick said Friday. “You can look at the injuries with Luis Robert and Eloy [Jimenez], it’s about being the next man up and helping this team win a World Series.”
Starting at second base for the second night since Madrigal went down, Mendick gave the Sox a 3-1 lead over the Tigers with his single against left-hander Tarik Skubal after catcher Zack Collins led off the fifth inning with a double into the right-field corner. He also singled in the second and, as the free runner in the 10th inning of a 5-4 victory, got his hand down on the plate with a headfirst slide to score on Yoan Moncada’s short sacrifice fly to left field.
“When it went up, Super Joe [coach Joe McEwing] said, ‘You’re going,’ ’’ Mendick said. “That’s what I was thinking regardless. The throw was a little bit up the line, and I got in there.”
Mendick also finished the game by ranging to his right to stop Jonathan Schoop’s hot smash that was headed toward center…