Norris (1-0) had been pitching in long-relief for the Tigers to begin the year, but injuries to the rotation returned him to a starting role for the first time since September. Working under what appeared to be a pitch count, the lefty found 93 on his fastball with good movement to stymie the Chicago hitters, giving up only two hits and a walk while striking out six.
The offense did their part in support, taking an aggressive baserunning approach to mixed results. Jeimer Candelario legged a double into a triple in the second inning, coming home on callup Brandon Dixon’s first major league hit. Dixon was easily cut down at second trying to take the extra base, but the Tigers took the early 1-0 lead. John Hicks was similarly cut down attempting to stretch a triple in the third, but the pressure on the base paths paid off with a run apeice in the fourth and sixth, and Gordon Beckham’s home run in the seventh against his former team gave Detroit a four-run lead.
Lest we forget, though, the Tigers aren’t allowed to carry a comfortable lead late. Chicago’s two-out rally in the eighth inning cut the lead to one on four straight singles sandwiching a Victor Alcantara wild pitch. But Shane Greene calmly set down the middle of the White Sox order to notch his tenth save:
With the win, the Tigers climb back to .500 on the season, while the White Sox fall to 8-12. Detroit begins a nine-game road trip in Boston Monday evening.