CHICAGO –Spearheaded by the newest members of the team, the White Sox recorded their first victory of the season, 11-2, over the Detroit Tigers.
After falling behind 1-0 to Detroit on a Tyler Collins home run, the White Sox jumped on Tigers’ starter Matt Boyd in the early innings. Before the beleaguered Boyd exited the game, the White Sox tagged him for nine runs, aided by two three-run home runs: a second inning shot by Geovany Soto, and a fourth inning bomb by designated hitter Matt Davidson.
Perhaps ignored in all the fireworks was the impressive outing of James Shields, who went 5.1 IP, allowing only 2 hits and 1 earned run. However, don’t anoint him Cy Young winner just yet, as he struggled in his control, yielding five walks. Due to those walks, it wasn’t a clean game for the veteran pitcher, but it’s still encouraging to see him hold a solid offensive team like Detroit to just one run.
After the four-run fourth inning, the Sox continued the barrage against Detroit pitching. Jose Abreu has been hitting well so far, and extended the lead to nine with a single in the sixth. Then, Geovany Soto went yard again, as his solo shot in the seventh increased the margin to ten.
It was a day of achievements for the White Sox. Matt Davidson, long removed from a short stint with the Diamondbacks four years ago, notched his first home run in 1,292 days (courtesy of Dan Hayes, CSN). Jacob May got his first RBI on a squeeze bunt, though the rookie has yet to record his first hit. In addition, the team hit for the cycle, as Davidson recorded the elusive triple in the second inning.
Though it’s still way too early to make serious judgements, position battles have clear leaders thus far. After unimpressive first days for Omar Narvaez and Cody Ashe, their replacements, Geovany Soto and Matt Davidson, shined. In this supposed rebuilding year, battles between unproved guys are very healthy, as players are driven to work hard in hopes of attaining a starting spot, knowing they have competition for that same position. The coming weeks will shed more light on these debates, and we might see some clarity in the catcher and DH spots.
James Shields: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K.
Geovany Soto: 2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB
Matt Davidson: 2-3, HR, 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB
Tyler Collins: 1-4, 1 HR
Through two games so far, the White Sox have 17 hits, and it hasn’t been limited to one part of the lineup. Seven White Sox hitters have multiple hits so far, and today’s power providers in Soto and Davidson balanced out the top-of-the-lineup production led by Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera, who have hits in both contests. Additionally, the bullpen held up well for the second straight game, as Dan Jennings, Michael Ynoa, and Tommy Kahnle combined for zero earned runs.
Tim Anderson did collect two hits, but his approach has not seen significant improvement, as the young shortstop has five strikeouts to his name after just two games. Also, Todd Frazier maintained his .000 batting average today, but he does not suffer from strikeout issues like Anderson, at least. He’s hit the ball hard a couple of times, and we’ll see if the hits will come.
Though wind was a huge factor, Avisail Garcia missed a relatively easy fly ball towards the end of the game, letting Nick Castellanos get to third base. The White Sox certainly will miss Adam Eaton in RF this season.
The White Sox begin the second leg of their opening home stand tomorrow evening against the undefeated Minnesota Twins, who have two wins over Kansas City. Newcomer Derek Holland (0-0) will take the bump against veteran Twins hurler Phil Hughes (0-0).
First Pitch: 7:10 pm (CT)