Detroit Tigers right-hander Casey Mize didn’t need much run support.
He no-hit the Chicago White Sox through five innings, but the Tigers (20-24) ended up losing, 4-3, Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Mize walked Nomar Mazara to begin the sixth inning, then allowed a double by Yolmer Sanchez — Chicago’s first hit. But the 23-year-old bounced back to get Nick Madrigal to ground out, although it drove in a run.
That’s when manager Ron Gardenhire decided to pull Mize at 76 pitches, one hit and two walks. Reliever Jose Cisnero entered, hit Tim Anderson and then allowed a three-run homer to Eloy Jimenez for a 4-3 White Sox lead.
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The Tigers, who had plated three runs in the top of the sixth, weren’t able to score again. Right-hander Alex Colome pitched a scoreless top of the ninth for the save.
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Because the New York Yankees swept their doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles, the Tigers fell to 3½ games back of the AL’s eighth and final spot.
The series continues with right-handers Michael Fulmer on Saturday and Spencer Turnbull on Sunday before a day off Monday.
Typically, any pitcher facing the White Sox would need help. Lots of help — Chicago boasts one of the best offenses in the American League.
The terrorizing lineup usually includes Anderson (who came into the contest 14-for-27 against the Tigers), Jimenez, Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion, Luis Robert and Madrigal, drafted three picks after Mize in 2018. The White Sox entered the game with 74 homers, fourth-most in the majors
But Mize shut them down.
Mize’s no-hitter lasted until the second batter in the sixth inning when Sanchez doubled down the right-field line. He exited after 5⅓ innings, allowing one hit, two runs, two walks and producing five strikeouts.
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He made massive improvements from his last outing Sept. 6, when he gave up three runs across four innings in a battle with the Minnesota Twins.
His 76 pitches Friday featured a healthy mix, showcasing the strength of his command: 28% sinkers, 26% four-seam fastballs, 18% cutters, 18% splitters and 9% curveballs. He got 11 strikes swinging and 14 called strikes.
His ERA improved to 5.85 through five MLB starts.
Giolito blinks first
Right-hander Lucas Giolito entered Friday’s game with a streak of 17 scoreless innings at Guaranteed Rate Field, including nine in his no-hitter Aug. 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Then, on Friday, five of his first six outs were strikeouts. But in the sixth inning, in a staring contest with Mize, Giolito blinked first.
The Tigers chased him with three runs.
In his last clash with the Tigers (Aug. 20), Giolito struck out 13 batters through seven scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and one walk.
This time, he allowed four hits and four walks with seven punchouts in 5⅔ innings.
Daz breaks though
Hitless through his first three MLB games, right fielder Daz Cameron delivered with two outs in the top of the sixth.
With a 1-0 lead, he smoked a 94.3 mph fastball from Giolito for a two-run single. His first big-league hit gave the Tigers a three-run lead, which Cisnero squandered in the seventh. The 23-year-old finished 1-for-3 against the White Sox. He reached in the ninth on a ground ball, but it was ruled an error.
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Cameron is now 1-for-12 with two RBIs, one walk and four strikeouts.
Through five minor-league seasons and 460 games, Cameron hit .247 with 37 homers and 215 RBIs. He slashed .214/.330/.377 with 13 long balls and 43 RBIs in 120 games for Triple-A Toledo in 2019. He was called up from the alternate training site Sept. 9 to replace slumping outfielder Christin Stewart.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content.