The twin major-league debuts of Dane Dunning and Casey Mize resulted in a draw over the first half of the game.
José Abreu and Edwin Encarnación generated the decision before the second half came to a close.
The veteran right-handed sluggers broke through a bullpen stalemate by dinging Tigers closer Gregory Soto with a pair of solo shots in the bottom of the eighth inning. Alex Colomé closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth, and the White Sox have won four in a row, opposite an eight-game losing streak for Detroit.
Abreu only needed one pitch — and a compliant right field — to untie the game. He hoisted Soto’s elevated sinker high to the right side. On other nights, or in other parks, it might’ve fallen short of the warning track. This one drifted, and drifted, and drifted until it fell beyond Jorge Bonifacio’s outstretched glove and into the Kraft Kave for a 4-3 lead.
Two batters later, Encarnación needed no such assistance from the conditions. He ripped a high Soto sinker 107 mph into the bleachers in left center for an insurance run Colomé didn’t need.
Dunning comes away with a no-decision, but he could’ve been tagged with the loss, and the White Sox actually won. He’ll probably take it.
He came out firing before tiring. Jeimer Candelario ripped his first pitch over Nomar Mazara’s head for a double, but Dunning stranded him to start a streak of 11 consecutive Tigers retired, including three strikeouts in the third. He had excellent command of his fastball and multiple breaking-ball tilts until they started wobbling on him in the fourth. The Tigers might’ve weakened his knees with two line drives that Dunning caught right next to his head.
Dunning struck out Bonifacio with runners on the corners to end the fourth, and with his fastball starting to sail and the curveball starting to bounce, I would’ve been comfortable calling it a night for him there. Instead, he came out to start the fifth, and Rick Renteria left him in one to three batters too long. JaCoby Jones reached with an infield single to the hole on the left side, after which Greiner hit the second laser into Dunning’s glove. Dunning followed by walking Isaac Paredes on four pitches around a pickoff throw that got away from Abreu, but instead of Renteria making a mound visit, Don Cooper came out instead.
What Cooper said didn’t work. Candelario golfed an 0-1 slider high to right center, and it landed just over Adam Engel’s glove for a three-run homer and a 3-1 Detroit lead.
The White Sox got him off the hook, because their hitters got wise to Mize. Zack Collins broke an 0-for-14 slump to start the season with a double into the right-field corner, and he scored on Tim Anderson’s seeing-eye single two batters later to make it a one-run game. Anderson stole second and came home on Yoán Moncada’s game-tying RBI single that chased Mize from the game
That gave Mize’s night a similar shape to Dunning’s. Encarnación tagged him for the first of his two homers in the second inning, but the splitter showed up shortly after, and he spent the next few innings recording strikeouts and groundouts.
They ended up with nearly identical lines:
- Dunning: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 73 pitches
- Mize: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 73 pitches
Dunning had the edge in game score, 47-44. And also the final score.
The middle-relief segments of both bullpens restored order after the starters flagged. Matt Foster, Steve Cishek and Evan Marshall combined to allow just one walk over their 3⅔ innings, which is one more baserunner than Jose Cisnero and Bryan Garcia allowed over their 2⅔ frames.
*Collins made his first start behind the plate in 2020. If you didn’t notice the pitchers shaking off signs more than usual, he didn’t stand out, which is good.
*Mazara reached on a double off Mize, but then ran himself into an out at third on a Danny Mendick chopper to the mound.
*Dunning got 17 swinging strikes, Mize 11.
*Look who made it on the broadcast!