Johnny Cueto came into this game leading the White Sox rotation by averaging 6.1 innings per start, with everybody else rounding down to fiveat bets.
He padded his lead further by throwing eight easy, breezy innings in a game that showed how simple Friday could’ve been. A first-inning homer gave him a multi-run cushion, but this time the White Sox starter couldn’t be solved, and the White Sox offense found ways to tack on runs
Cueto scattered four singles and a double over his eight innings. He complemented a pedestrian strikeout total (five) with a lot of groundouts (12) and an absence of free bases. The Tigers had just two at-bats with runners in scoring position, and one was on Cueto’s final batter of the afternoon, since Spencer Torkelson hit a two-out double in the eighth.
Cueto finished with 101 pitches, and were he in line for a no-hitter, he could’ve started the ninth without complaint. Instead, he yielded to José Ruiz, and Cueto settled for lowering his ERA to 2.91 while running his record to 3-4.
Garrett Hill, making his second career start, had trouble closing out innings. He gave up six runs over the first two frames, and all of them scored with two outs. Gavin Sheets turned a 3-0 swing into a 3-0 lead by swatting an outer-half fastball out to left center in the first inning. When Hill rebounded to retire the first two batters of the second inning, he then couldn’t retire any of the next four. Tim Anderson doubled, Andrew Vaughn got clipped by a pitch, Luis Robert lined an RBI single to left, and then José Abreu’s opposite-field line drive undressed Willi Castro for two more runs and a 6-0 lead.
If there was one unsatisfying element of today’s game, it’s that Hill lasted five innings despite a large early pitch count. That said, at least the Sox were able to show later live by scoring two more runs on Will Vest in the sixth via an Anderson RBI single and some #WILDPITCHOFFENSE. Kody Clemens “pitched” the eighth, so AJ Hinch might’ve been intent on sparing his bullpen no matter how early Hill exited.
*Josh Harrison was the only Sox held hitless, but he made a couple of nice plays in the field, including a strong first-ining double play turn, and a nifty block of a grounder that caromed off Abreu.
*Abreu extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a 2-for-4 day, which helped snap the Tigers’ six-game winning streak.