Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Rookie Bassitt leads White Sox to shutout win over Tigers

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[September 23, 2014]  DETROIT -- Chris Bassitt was not thinking about impacting the American League pennant race on Monday night. He was just looking for his first major-league win.

With more than 100 friends and family in attendance, the Chicago White Sox rookie right-hander silenced the Central Division-leading Detroit Tigers over 7 2/3 innings in a 2-0 victory at Comerica Park.

"I didn't think about that," Bassitt said of hampering the Tigers' chances of clinching the division. "I just went out there and tried to do my best."

Bassitt's hometown of Curtice, Ohio, is about a half hour from the ballpark "if you want to drive fast." The cheering section saw Bassitt (1-1) scatter six hits, walk one and strike out three. He had made three other starts, including a loss to Detroit on Aug. 30 in his major-league debut when he allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings.

"The first one is obviously nice but being so close to home is even better," he said. "Having all my family here, it meant a lot."

The Tigers' division lead dropped to one game after second-place Kansas City followed up a loss of a suspended game to Cleveland earlier in the evening with a 2-0 win in the regularly-scheduled game.


Detroit (86-70) has a losing record against the White Sox and Minnesota Twins, the teams it will face during the seven-game homestand to complete the regular season.

"It's not going to be an easy last week," Tigers left fielder J.D. Martinez said. "It's going to be a grind and it's going to be a nail-biter because both of those teams play us extremely well."

Bassitt didn't pitch extremely well in his debut but he frustrated the Tigers the second time around with his off-speed pitches, particularly a changeup he developed in the minors this season.

"It made me feel a lot more comfortable being out there against the same team," he said. "I kind of knew their approach against me but at the same time, they're an outstanding hitting team. I knew I couldn't walk people because if you walk them, they're just going to kill you because they're way too good hitters to give them free passes."

Tyler Flowers homered for the game's only runs and Jake Petricka recorded his 14th save for the White Sox (72-84), who have won eight of their last 12.

Detroit left-hander Kyle Lobstein (1-1) suffered his first career loss despite limiting Chicago to two runs in seven innings and striking out five. Designated hitter Victor Martinez had two hits and reached base in all four plate appearances. Catcher Alex Avila, who missed the previous six games with concussion-like symptoms, was 0-for-4 and struck out three times.

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Flowers' home run, which landed in the visitors' bullpen in left-center, gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the second. It was the White Sox catcher's sixth home run in 13 games and 15th of the season. Second baseman Carlos Sanchez preceded the home run with a two-out double.

Bassitt recorded only one 1-2-3 inning before the seventh but the Tigers couldn't get any clutch hits. J.D. Martinez flied out with two runners on in the first, while Avila and shortstop Andrew Romine left two runners stranded in the fourth.

Victor Martinez led off the sixth with a double but Bassitt retired the next three batters. He didn't allow another base runner until he walked Victor Martinez in the eighth.

"He pitched us very similar to the way he did in Chicago, we just weren't able to get a big hit, get that hit when guys were on base," J.D. Martinez said. "We had guys on base today and just couldn't get them in."

NOTES: Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez will be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. Sanchez, who is 8-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 21 starts, has been sidelined since Aug. 9 with a right pectoralis strain. "He'll pitch out of the bullpen," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "He can fill a number of roles, depending on how deep the starter goes." ... White Sox CF Adam Eaton was not in the lineup while attending to a personal matter. ... The teams split their first 16 games and the Tigers are 7-8 against Minnesota, which plays at Detroit the final four games of the season. "They're not rolling over for anybody," Ausmus said. ... Chicago has lost 40 games after holding a lead, the third most in the majors behind Texas (43) and Toronto (41). ... Detroit LHP David Price, who starts on Tuesday, is just 3-4 since Tampa Bay traded its ace on July 31. "It's just executing pitches," he said. "I haven't done that very well since I've been here."

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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