Tigers 1, White Sox 0: Bats silent as Detroit sweeps Chicago

It was another cold day at Guaranteed Rate Field – particularly for White Sox bats.

Soft-tossing righty Mike Fiers and near-freezing temperatures limited the Sox to three hits, as Chicago wasted a strong start by Reynaldo Lopez to lose 1-0. Detroit completed a three-game sweep with the win, meaning the Sox are winless at home on the young season.

Though Lopez walked five batters, he was rarely in trouble. He gave up only two hits – both to speedy Tigers centerfielder Leonys Martin – and struck out five over seven innings.

The first hit proved costly, as Martin led off the game with a looping single then quickly stole second base. Lopez struck out Jeimer Candelario, but yanked his first pitch to Miguel Cabrera way outside past Welington Castillo for a passed ball, advancing Martin to third. Cabrera flew out to Leury Garcia in deep right-center for a sac fly, and the Tigers managed to make that lone run hold up for the 8.5 ensuing innings.

The Sox mounted their most dangerous threat in the bottom of the first. Yoan Moncada hit a hard liner right at Jose Iglesias, continuing his run of bad luck/bad performance, depending on who you ask. Avisail Garcia followed with a single, Jose Abreu was hit on the shoulder by a Fiers “fastball” and Matt Davidson worked a walk to load the bases with one out. But Nicky Delmonico hit a soft bloop that might have gotten by a worse shortstop than Iglesias, and Castillo grounded out to help Fiers escape the jam.

Ricky’s boys again had a runner in scoring position in the second inning, after Tim Anderson singled with one out then stole second. But the steal came on strike three for Yolmer Sanchez, and Moncada K’d on a 3-2 changeup to end things there.

The Sox’ third and final hit came courtesy of Avi Garcia leading off the third inning, but an Abreu pop-up and a Davidson GIDP fizzled the potential rally before it got started.

Lopez battled command issues through the middle innings, walking two batters in both the fourth and the fifth. He struck out Detroit catcher John Hicks to end the first threat, while Castillo pegged Dixon Machado trying to steal second to keep the second from getting out of hand.

Though the bats never got going, the defense came to Lopez’s aid when he started losing velocity and control. Sanchez made a nice pick-and-throw to end the fifth inning with a runner aboard; Delmonico’s sliding grab did the same in the sixth. Lopez was sitting in the 93-94 range by the end of his outing, but managed to make it through seven innings on only 91 pitches.

Neither the Tigers nor the White Sox bullpens gave up a hit. Ron Gardenhire went to Alex Wilson, Joe Jimenez, Shane Greene and something named Stumpf for three scoreless innings. Meanwhile Luis Avilan loogy-d his little heart out and Bruce Rondon struck out all four batters he faced in his White Sox debut, hitting 100 on the radar gun.

In the end, the White Sox continued to frustrate, going 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position. If you’re counting at home (and I wouldn’t blame you if you’re not), that made them 4 for 24 on the series – a timely reminder that, despite an encouraging opening road trip, this team might be more interesting than good.

Bullet Points:

*Hawk Harrelson was in the booth with Steve Stone, though someone else will have to report on his performance, as your humble recapper opted for the away feed.

*Fiers has now given up two runs in 25 2/3 career innings against the Sox, good for a 0.70 ERA. I’m surprised this guy doesn’t play for the Twins.

*Lopez had a Game Score of 70, the highest of his White Sox career.

*The Tigers had stolen six straight bases off Castillo before he nailed Machado, which might bear watching over future series.

*Neither team had an extra-base hit.

Record: 3-5 | Box score

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Greg Nix

Greg Nix writes stuff all over the internet, and sometimes even on TV. He loves the White Sox and the Phoenix Suns even though they bring him nothing but pain.

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MonicaMG

I really hope the team does better against the Rays.

Trooper Galactus

They couldn’t do worse, really.

gusguyman

Hawk was a lot like ReyLo. Good velocity on his play by play in the first couple innings, struggled with his command in the middle, then ran out of gas and was out of the game by the last couple.

Trooper Galactus

This was about as fan-killing an opening series as we could have imagined:
-Bitterly cold temperatures
-Blown 3-run lead in the ninth inning
-Shutout 1-0 loss wasted a brilliant pitching performance
-Top prospect went 2-for-14 with a walk
-Two straight days of ineptitude on offense

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

WBWSF

Hope things get better against the Rays but it really looks like another season “Mired In Mediocrity”.

gibby32

Too soon.

katiesphil

Way

tommytwonines

I was watching the Masters, what’s been happening?

Oh holy McIlroy say it isn’t so!

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Member

Ugh.

fustercluck

humble recapper opted against a rare Hawk broadcast. savagery

meanwhile, tags appear to be case-sensitive