Norris pitches Tigers to victory in season finale
CHICAGO (AP) — The Detroit Tigers didn’t have much to say about their 6-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. They are looking to forget about this season as quickly as possible.
The Tigers finished a first-to-worst tumble, ending the year in last place in the AL Central after winning the division for four straight years. Most of the talk in the Tigers’ clubhouse was about next year.
"There were some things that didn’t go the way we hoped, but that’s all in the rearview mirror now," manager Brad Ausmus said. "I’m honestly looking forward to start to put together … some names and possibilities for 2016."
The Tigers (74-87) were hurt by injuries and shaky pitching in falling to last place for the first time in seven years.
Sunday was different, with the strong pitching of Daniel Norris (3-2) possibly showing a bit of the future. Norris pitched one-hit ball over five innings and Tyler Collins broke open the game with a bases-clearing triple.
"It’s a great way to end the season on a positive note," said Norris, who came to the Tigers during the season in a trade from the Blue Jays. "I’m going into next year with good thoughts. …. I think I went out there and had a good couple months here."
Chicago also was happy to end the year after finishing 76-86, fourth in the Central. That was a slight improvement over last year, when the Sox won 73 games.
"Very disappointing," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You go back to work and try to figure out what you’re going to be doing in the future. … We do have some young guys that we are excited about."
Norris didn’t give up a hit until Trayce Thompson’s triple in the fourth. Collins hit his bases-loaded triple in the seventh inning after White Sox reliever Daniel Webb gave up a single to Bryan Holaday and walks to Dixon Machado and J.D. Martinez.
White Sox starter Frankie Montas (0-2) was pulled after four innings after giving up one run on two hits and three walks. Montas struck out seven.
The Tigers got a run in the first on a double by Nick Castellanos that scored Anthony Gose, and added one in the fifth when Gose led off with a triple and later scored on Martinez’s sacrifice fly. Detroit added a run in the eighth on Josh Wilson’s RBI single.
American League batting champion Miguel Cabrera didn’t play for Detroit on Sunday after hitting a home run in Saturday’s loss to the White Sox. Cabrera finished the season with a .338 average, well ahead of Boston’s Xander Bogaerts. Cabrera is the first player to win the AL batting title four times in a five-year span since Wade Boggs won four straight from 1985-88.
AUSMUS: TOTAL REBUILD NOT NEEDED
Ausmus said the Tigers just need a few things if they’re not hit hard by injuries again. "If everyone’s healthy there’s a good core," Ausmus said. "We’re not building from scratch, planning three or four years out. I think we’re in a spot where if the right pieces are added we could immediately be in contention again."
AUSMUS’ MVP WAS J.D. MARTINEZ
Ausmus said if he had to pick a Tigers’ MVP he’d choose OF J.D. Martinez. "He drove in a hundred runs, almost 40 home runs," Ausmus said. "He plays every day, he plays solid defense in the outfield."
Tigers C James McCann finished the season with no errors in 112 games to lead all MLB catchers in fielding percentage. He is just the sixth catcher in major league history to catch at least 100 games in a season without an error.
LOVE FOR SALE
Chicago’s Chris Sale finished the season as the American League strikeouts leader with 274 after his seven-strikeout outing on Friday. That was second-most in the majors behind Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.
White Sox: CF Adam Eaton will undergo arthroscopic surgery to clean up his left shoulder on Monday. He said he hopes to be able to fish two to three weeks after the procedure.