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It’s jarring to see the first pitch of the game result in an HBP, so when Alex Faedo opened the afternoon at Comerica Park by drilling AJ Pollock, it brought to mind Eddie Cicotte plunking Morrie Rath in Game 1 to start the 1919 World Series, albeit on his second pitch.
Still, it happened promptly enough to fire off a joke about it:
But looking at the final score — which was goosed by three Detroit position players covering the final three innings — how would anybody be able to tell if they weren’t on the take?
I normally reserve bullet-point recaps for games I half-saw, but once Vince Velasquez and Davis Martin executed an orderly and peaceful transition of power on the mound and the White Sox kept posting deuces on the board (the good kind), this game became mostly a collection of stats.
*Yoán Moncada led the way with a three-run homer off Faedo with two outs in the first inning, setting the stage for a 5-for-6, five-RBI day, which also included a double. Two of those hits and the other two RBIs came off position players Kody Clemens and Tucker Barnhart. Both times he drove in …
*… José Abreu, who reached five times himself with two doubles, two singles and a walk. The doubles came off position players, and it was fun to see him strike a balance between sportsman and teammate. On both two-baggers, he jogged all the way to second, even though Comerica’s spacious center field could’ve meant a triple either time. But on both of Moncada’s singles, Abreu busted it home to give Moncada some sorely needed counting stats.
*When Abreu wasn’t playing, he was relaxing in his home in his home away from home.
*AJ Pollock reached base four times from the leadoff spot, including his seventh consecutive multi-hit game. He’s raised his June line to .358/.404/.491, and he also made a fine running catch down the left-field line.
*Josh Harrison and Seby Zavala also took advantage. Harrison went 3-for-5, while an Austin Meadows leaping catch at the wall prevented Zavala from doing the same. He settled for 2-for-5 with a two-run homer off Alex Lange.
*Adam Engel was the last to join the starter hit party, but he did so with a triple (a single that Meadows misplayed).
*Leury García was the only one who come away empty-handed. He went 0-for-2 after replacing Luis Robert, striking out against Harold Castro and grounding into a double play off Tucker Barnhart.
*Velasquez and Martin combined for a dominant line: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 99 pitches, 74 strikes. José Ruiz needed just 10 pitches for a 1-2-3 ninth.
*Velasquez, coming off the IL, was limited to 41 pitches and 2⅔ innings. He might’ve been able to complete a full three had he not failed to pick up a chopper to the right side, resulting in an error.
*Martin picked up where Velasquez left off and completed the next 5⅓ innings on just 58 pitches. He threw strikes, and while the Tigers hit a few of them hard, the White Sox defense backed him up. He picked up his first win as a reward for understanding the task at hand.
*The White Sox scored 10 runs for just the second time this season. Both games have been in Detroit.
*The Sox outscored the Tigers 27-6 over the three-game sweep, and now their run differential sits at a less ghastly -35 for the season.
*The Tigers seem sufficiently embarrassed … unless they’re just getting their story straight.