The Chicago White Sox keep on winning thanks to the aid of some newcomers, and they’ll be seeking their sixth consecutive victory on Saturday afternoon in Detroit.
The White Sox began a three-game weekend series with an 8-2 victory over the Tigers on Friday. Gavin Sheets, who made his major-league debut this week, blasted a three-run homer. He has two homers and eight RBIs in four games.
Infielder Jake Burger made his major-league debut on Friday and contributed two hits and a run scored. Burger, a first-round pick in the 2017 June draft, overcame two Achilles tendon tears to reach the big leagues.
“Every single day I get on that field, I’m really confident in myself. I think the last three years have definitely given me confidence,” Burger said. “It changed me as a person, it matured me. It also changed me as a player. Having that confidence every single day has led to this success. I definitely feel like I belong.”
Burger had an emotional reaction in a postgame TV interview after his two-hit night.
“The last three years I definitely thought about quitting multiple times,” he said. “It means a lot to me, and my family’s here and it means more to them.”
The rookies are needed because of injuries.
Third baseman Yoan Moncada is expected to miss the series with a hand injury. Catcher Yasmani Grandal departed Friday’s game with left calf tightness. Additionally, designated hitter Yermin Mercedes was optioned to Triple A Charlotte to make room for Burger. Mercedes got off to a red-hot start but hit .150 over his past 31 games.
Veteran left-hander Dallas Keuchel will start the middle game of the series.
Keuchel (6-2, 3.96 ERA) officially pitched in relief in his last outing, tossing five innings as the White Sox completed a suspended game against Seattle on Saturday. He gave up two runs on six hits and wound up with a no-decision.
Keuchel lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his last start on June 20, giving up six runs (three earned) and walking four against Houston. That ended a string of three consecutive quality starts, including a June 4 outing against the Tigers in which he gave up two runs (one earned) in six innings.
He’s 4-3 with a 3.84 ERA in 10 career outings – nine starts — against Detroit.
The Tigers will go with rookie left-hander Tarik Skubal (4-7, 4.06 ERA), who has three wins and three no-decisions in his last six starts. Skubal had the longest outing of his career on Sunday, giving up just one run on one hit while striking out nine in seven innings against the Astros.
Skubal faced the White Sox twice last month, collecting a win and a no-decision while striking out 17 in 11 innings.
“That was the best he’s thrown against the best team he’s pitched against,” manager AJ Hinch said. “That was nice to see.”
What Hinch didn’t enjoy seeing was his team leaving 12 runners on base on Friday. White Sox starter Lance Lynn escaped several jams when the game was tight. Chicago leads the season series 9-2.
“We never quite got the knockout punch,” Hinch said. “We could have probably gotten him out of the game early if we had won those battles.”
–Field Level Media