Detroit Tigers strike out 13 times in 3-1 loss to White Sox in Game 1 of doubleheader

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Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press
·4 min read
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Chicago White Sox starter Carlos Rodon exposed the Detroit Tigers by accumulating a whopping 12 strikeouts through six innings.

As Rodon cruised on the mound, Chicago's offense broke through and delivered three runs in the fifth inning against right-hander Casey Mize. The Tigers (8-17) fell short, 3-1, in a seven-inning Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Rodon has held opponents this season to a .085 batting average. He picked up a no-hitter April 14 against Cleveland and has been dynamite through his four starts in 2021.

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Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera reacts after striking out against the White Sox during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the doubleheader on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Chicago.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera reacts after striking out against the White Sox during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the doubleheader on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Chicago.

Before the fifth inning, the White Sox were 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position across the first 13 innings of the series. Rodon allowed one run on two hits and one walk. He tossed 66 of his 96 pitches for strikes. Righty Liam Hendriks pitched the seventh to complete Chicago's win.

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The Tigers complete the three-game series with Game 2 of the doubleheader Thursday. Left-hander Matthew Boyd is starting, opposed by righty Dylan Cease.

One bad inning

In the fifth, Mize loaded the bases with a single, two walks. Without an out, first baseman Miguel Cabrera bobbled a grounder from Billy Hamilton, which would have been a sure-fire force out at home plate. While Hamilton was out at first base, the first run scored against Mize.

Then, Leury Garcia singled on a first-pitch splitter to plate two more runs for a 3-1 lead.

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Tigers pitcher Casey Mize pitches in the first inning against the White Sox on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Chicago.
Tigers pitcher Casey Mize pitches in the first inning against the White Sox on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Chicago.

The 23-year-old used 10 pitches in the first inning, 14 in the second, 15 in the third, nine in the fourth and 22 in the fifth and 17 in the sixth.

Before he lost command of the strike zone early in the fifth frame, Mize had only given up an eight-pitch walk to Jose Abreu in the second and double to Zack Collins in the third. He stranded a leadoff double by Yoan Moncada in the sixth with a ground out and back-to-back strikeouts.

Through six innings, Mize allowed three runs on four hits and three walks, with six strikeouts. He tossed 87 pitches (53 strikes). He generated 13 swings-and-misses with four four-seam fastballs, three (of his six) curveballs, three sliders, two sinkers and one splitter.

Mize's fastball averaged 94 mph and topped out at 95.9 mph.

A good sign?

As the Tigers desperately need someone to step up with consistent quality at-bats, Schoop is showing improvements on offense. In the first game of Tuesday's contest, he crushed a solo home run in the eighth inning.

His first and second at-bats in Thursday's game produced a 105.1 mph exit velocity (line out to shortstop) and 108.7 mph exit velocity (double), respectively. He struck out swinging in his third and final at-bat.

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Schoop needs more of these plate appearances — where he makes hard contact — moving forward. He is still hitting a troublesome .197 through 22 games. The Tigers signed him to a one-year, $4.5 million contract this offseason. For Detroit in 2020, he delivered a .278 batting average and eight home runs in 44 games.

Tiger for a day

Before Thursday's doubleheader, the Tigers called up outfielder Derek Hill as the 27th player. He will be sent back to the alternate training site after the games are completed. The 25-year-old — drafted No. 23 overall in the 2014 draft — is slated as the starting center fielder for Triple-A Toledo once the minor-league season begins in May.

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It was Hill's second time as a 27th player this season. He traveled from Toledo to Detroit for the April 21 doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates and recorded one inning in center field as a defensive replacement.

Hill made his MLB debut in 2020. He competed in 15 games, hitting 1-for-11 (.091) with one walk and six strikeouts. He was primarily used as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers drop Game 1 of DH to Chicago White Sox, 3-2