Tigers try to keep warm, sweep White Sox
Detroit (3-4) has scored 15 runs in the first two games of the series after being shut out twice in the previous four. The Tigers won 9-7 on Thursday to spoil the White Sox’s home opener and followed with a 6-1 win on Saturday afternoon.
“A lot of good things happened,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said to the Detroit Free Press. “We come out and we talked about winning the series. Well, we’ve done that. Now, we’ll go out and try to finish it off.”
Meanwhile, Chicago (3-4) will try again to pick up its first home win of the season. The White Sox opened the series on the road with back-to-back victories over the Kansas City Royals, but since then they have dropped four of five games.
More cold weather is likely for the series finale after a frigid start to the season on Chicago’s South Side. Forecasts for Sunday call for temperatures topping out in the upper 30s.
Do bitter temperatures make life more difficult for pitchers or hitters?
“It’s kind of tough on everybody; it’s cold on both ends so you can’t really say,” White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson answered to The Athletic.
In any temperature, Anderson has showed more promise at the plate. The team’s first-round draft pick from 2013 has drawn four walks in 27 plate appearances this year after walking only 13 times in 606 plate appearances a season ago.
“I’m excited about the walks,” he said to The Athletic. “I feel like I’m seeing the ball pretty well. I have to keep putting together some good ‘ABs’ and some of those balls will fall.”
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has made a living out of seeing the ball well at the plate. He drove in three runs Saturday to give him 1,621 RBIs in his career, and he three more RBIs to move past Chipper Jones (1,623) for No. 34 all time.
Cabrera also figures to pass Harold Baines (1,628) and Ernie Banks (1,636) sooner rather than later.
White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (0-0) will try to contain Cabrera and the rest of his hot-hitting teammates. Lopez pitched well in his season debut, limiting the Toronto Blue Jays to one run in six innings. He carried a no-hitter into the fifth and finished with two hits allowed, two walks allowed and six strikeouts on 100 pitches.
In one career start against Detroit, Lopez is 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA (four earned runs in seven innings).
For the Tigers, right-hander Mike Fiers will make his team debut after opening the season on the 10-day disabled list because of a back ailment. The 32-year-old spent the past two-plus seasons with the Houston Astros, where he posted an 8-10 record with a 5.22 ERA in 29 games (28 starts) last year.
In three career starts against the White Sox, Fiers is 1-0 with a 0.92 ERA (two earned runs in 19 2/3 innings). He has walked four and struck out 18.