Tigers, White Sox resume teeth-chattering series
Both teams enjoyed an off day Friday after playing in a frigid series opener that included snow flurries one day earlier. Chicago (3-3) squandered a four-run lead heading into the eighth inning and lost 9-7 in 10 innings.
“It’s a bummer,” White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s a bummer for the fans, too, you know. But we’re a good team, and we’ll bounce back. It won’t be the last time it happens this year, and we’ll do it to other teams, too. It’s part of baseball, part of the ups and downs.”
Detroit (2-4) also experienced its share of ups and downs through the first week of the season. Bad weather led to three postponements, and the team endured a scare Thursday when first baseman Miguel Cabrera was forced to leave because of tightness in his hip flexor.
Cabrera told the Detroit Free Press that his pain level had diminished and he expected to be back in the lineup Saturday. The 34-year-old is a two-time MVP and an 11-time All-Star. He is hitting .318 (7-for-22) with three doubles, one home run and five RBIs in his first six games of the season.
“I’m feeling better right now,” Cabrera said. “I jammed my hip a little bit on the ground. It started to feel tight so I talked to the skip and come out of the game. I don’t want to lose any games.”
Cabrera’s presence could increase the challenge for White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (0-0), a promising 23-year-old who projects as a long-term member of the starting rotation. Giolito struggled with command at times in his season opener against the Kansas City Royals but finished with a quality start (6 IP, 4H, 3 ER, 4BB, 1K).
In Giolito’s only career outing against Detroit last season, he tossed seven shutout innings to post his first big-league win. He limited Tigers hitters to three hits while walking three and striking out four.
The Tigers will counter with a gifted young arm of their own. Right-hander Michael Fulmer (0-1) was tagged with a hard-luck loss in his season opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates despite giving up only one earned run in eight innings. The 25-year-old limited the Pirates to four hits while walking two and striking out three.
In five career appearances against Chicago, Fulmer is 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu could provide one of the toughest tests for Fulmer. Abreu is hitting .357 (5-for-14) against Fulmer in his career with one double, one home run and four RBIs. Teammate Yolmer Sanchez also has fared well, hitting .600 (3-for-5) with a double and a walk.
Outfielder Mikie Mahtook is the only Tigers player with an extra-base hit against Giolito. He tripled and walked against the 6-foot-6 hurler in August.