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White Sox 4, Tigers 1: Tigers lose pitchers’ duel, series in Chicago

Matthew Boyd and Reynaldo López battled in a pitchers’ duel that saw the Tigers strike out twenty times.

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

A Sunday afternoon match between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox saw Tigers ace Matthew Boyd take on the ChiSox’ best starting pitcher in Reynaldo López. Neither disappointed, as they battled in an epic pitching duel, ultimately leading to a 4-1 loss for the Tigers and a two-game series sweep for the White Sox.

The story of the day was López, who stole Boyd’s thunder by striking out a career-high 14 in six innings, allowing only one run in the process. He kept the Tigers hitters off balance all day with his arsenal, mixing up pitches and sequencing the batters into oblivion. The Windy City certainly earned its moniker thanks to the whiffs of the Tigers swinging bats.

Boyd was not too shabby either, collecting nine punchouts of his own in six innings. He gave up two runs in the first after hitting leadoff batter Leury Garcia with a full-count pitch, then surrendered a two-out double to Wellington Castillo with Yoan Moncada on base after drawing a walk to put the first two runs on the board.

Boyd settled down in the following innings, cruising along until he sent down the White Sox in order bottom of the sixth, throwing pitch number 99 to end his day. Buck Farmer replaced him to the start the next frame, and promptly coughed up a run after giving up three straight hits — including a bunt single that brought in the run. Farmer bounced back to turn a double play off a comebacker to the mound, and after intentionally walking José Abreu he struck out James McCann in a seven pitch battle to end the threat.

The Tigers offense failed to get anything going against the White Sox relief corps, going down in order in the eighth. Victor Alcántara came in to pitch the bottom of the inning, and made things too interesting by loading the bases with one out. Yolmer Sánchez then hit a sac fly to Nicholas Castellanos who lightly collided with JaCoby Jones, but managed to hang on for the out. Alcántara finally put out the fire before it got out of hand by getting Garcia to ground out to short.

With their last chance in the top of the ninth inning, the Tigers faced White Sox closer Álex Colomé. Miguel Cabrera drew a leadoff walk on four straight balls and gave way to pinch runner Dustin Peterson. Niko Goodrum then flew out to center, and after hitting a ball with home run distance that just went foul, Brandon Dixon went down swinging. Gordon Beckham then struck out to end the game and continue the Tigers’ futility at the plate.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the game

Good: Matthew Boyd had another fine outing, continuing his ascension to true ace status. His rough first inning ended up being the death knell, saddling him with the loss despite the quality start.

Bad: The inability of the Tigers offense to put the ball in play and get on base. They just could not give Boyd the support he needed and were down-right anemic. Their only run was manufactured by small-ball, and you cannot win with that gameplan without runners on base and balls in play.

Ugly: The strikeouts. So many strikeouts. They struck out twice in every single inning of the game, and struck out three times twice. The starter on the mound for the White Sox was certainly no schlub, but this lineup is not going to win any games whiffing 20 times. It was the most strikeouts ever by the Chicago White Sox in a nine inning game. It also tied the Tigers’ previous record for strikeouts set in September of 1996 against Roger Clemens and May of 2016 versus Max Scherzer, as well as the major league record for strikeouts in a regulation match.

Performance of the Game:

You have to tip your hat to Reynaldo López and his domination of the Tigers lineup today. He went out and got the job done in top fashion, and made the Tigers look more like kitties.