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Tigers 8, White Sox 4: Bullpen negates late rally

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Chris Bassitt gets singled to death in major-league debut, but equally ineffective relief makes a game of it

Jeffrey Phelps

The miserable bullpens of the White Sox and Tigers canceled each other out.

The major-league debuts of their starters did not. Kyle Ryan outpitched Chris Bassitt, but it's hard to tell by how much. Ryan had all the BABIP luck (6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K), whereas Bassitt was beaten for two crooked numbers despite allowing few well-struck balls.

For instance, the Tigers' two-run third started when Ezequiel Carrera bounced the ball over Leury Garcia's head at third base. He then scored on a Rajai Davis single, and Davis scored on Ian Kinsler's soft liner to left after a stolen base.

Or maybe you remember Don Kelly's duck-snort single that started a three-run fourth. All in all, bad luck was the main reason Bassitt allowed five runs over his 6⅓ innings. There were some thing he'll need to improve -- he walked four batters (one intentionally) and plunked another, and the Tigers' speedsters stole three bases on him easily, but the lack of solid contact was encouraging.

The Sox tried to get him off the hook once Ryan left, putting a scare into the Tigers with a four-run eighth. They loaded the bases on walks to Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu sandwiching an Alexei Ramirez double. Avisail Garcia brought in one run with a groundout, and Dayan Viciedo brought in the rest with an opposite-field homer to make it a 5-4 game.

The Sox bullpen had to hold that margin for one more inning, but the relievers weren't up to the task. Maikel Cleto gave up a pair of one-out singles -- one of the infield variety, of course -- to bring Victor Martinez to the plate. Robin Ventura went to Javy Guerra, and that didn't work out. Guerra hit Martinez with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases, and the Tigers unloaded them with a sac fly, single and RBI double.

Joe Nathan retired the Sox in order in the ninth, although there wasn't a save on the line (amended).

Bullet points:

*Bassitt's first strikeout victim was Miguel Cabrera, who was frozen on an inside-corner curve.

*The top of the order continues to look professional, as Eaton (1-for-4, walk), Ramirez (2-for-4, double) and Abreu (1-for-2, two walks) represented seven of the White Sox's 11 baserunners.

Record: 61-75 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights