Detroit Tigers’ Casey Mize good, but White Sox pitching better in 4-1 loss in Chicago

Detroit Free Press

The splitter from Detroit Tigers rookie Casey Mize looked perfect, but Yoan Moncada extended his hitting streak to seven games by slapping the first-inning pitch beyond the left-field wall for a 358-foot home run.

This pitch accounted for one of five hits and one of three home runs by the Chicago White Sox against Mize, but the minimal damage was enough for Lance Lynn, who worked around an early jam and posted six innings of one-run ball.

While the pitching clash between Mize and Lynn lived up to the anticipation, the Tigers (23-33) were unable to grab the lead in a 4-1 loss to the White Sox in the four-game series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Mize did not allow a walk for the second start in a row and threw 61 of his 89 pitches for strikes.

The Tigers logged one run on five hits and two walks. They struck out 12 times and were held scoreless by Chicago’s bullpen: Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall and closer Liam Hendriks. Detroit reliever Daniel Norris, who replaced Mize, struck out three but surrendered a solo home run to Tim Anderson in the eighth inning.

Sox dig the long ball

Facing Mize, the White Sox tacked on a second run in the second inning. Jake Lamb drove Mize’s fastball — a pitch that didn’t seem as well placed as his splitter to Moncada — for a 412-foot solo home run to right field.

Mize fired first-pitch strikes to the first six batters he faced before getting to Lamb with two outs in the second. He was forced to use 17 pitches each in the first and second innings but kept his pitch count in check the rest of the way.

And Mize pitched well to keep the Tigers in the game. He had control of his entire arsenal, generating 17 swings and misses: Three with his two-seam fastball, five with his four-seam fastball, six with his slider and three with his curveball.

Following Anderson’s lead-off single in the third, Mize retired nine of the next 10 batters to get him through one out in the seventh inning. The only player to reach base during this stretch, Yasmani Grandal, did so on an error by second baseman Willi Castro.

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Mize only got better as his start continued, throwing 12 pitches in the third inning, 13 pitches in the fourth, 10 in the fifth and seven in the sixth. His ability to pitch to contact in these innings helped him extend his outing.

With one out in the seventh, Grandal crushed a 457-foot homer to right-center field for the third solo blast against Mize. He got ahold of an elevated two-seam fastball to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead.

Despite another home run, Mize worked through his final inning in 13 pitches.

Offense squanders chance

The Tigers were carved up by Lynn for most of the game — but not until the veteran right-hander escaped the second inning. He allowed a two-out single to Niko Goodrum, who stole second base for his 10th swipe, two off his career high.

Castro and Akil Baddoo drew walks to loaded the bases. Yet Jake Rogers struck out swinging on three pitches to end the threat without scoring. In the first inning, Lynn got help from a strike out, throw out for his first two outs to keep the Tigers from putting pressure on him.

The first and only run against Lynn came from Castro’s bat in the fifth inning, when he smoked a 408-foot solo homer to right-center field.

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In the sixth, Candelario singled to extend his on-base streak 29 games. It’s the longest active streak in the majors. Lynn sent down the next three batters, including striking out Miguel Cabrera after an eight-pitch battle, to complete his 89-pitch outing.

Cabrera finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He is hitting .188 through 39 games.

A pinch-hit situation in the top of the seventh inserted Eric Haase pinch-hit for Rogers in the top of the seventh, into the lineup, making him the catcher for Mize’s final frame through the final out.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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