DETROIT — The first time wasn’t a charm for Frankie Montas, but the White Sox right-hander had fun all the same.
And managed to throw some impressive pitches, too.
Making his first major league start, Montas allowed six runs on six hits in a 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
“Things didn’t go like I wanted,” Montas said. “But even though I didn’t get the win, I actually enjoyed it.”
Montas gave up a two-run home run to Victor Martinez in the first inning, the 200th of Martinez’s career. J.D. Martinez’s two-run double was the biggest hit of the Tigers’ four-run third.
Sox catcher Geovany Soto liked what he saw from Montas, though.
“I feel like he has great stuff,” Soto said. “The kid throws very firm. He’s got a great two-seamer, changeup’s a work in progress, but the slider is a good pitch for him.
“He made a few mistakes, but he’s really a promising young man.”
In five previous relief outings for the Sox, Montas had a 1.13 ERA.
Montas’ counterpart, however, was Justin Verlander on one of his better days.
In possibly his most encouraging start of the season, Verlander returned to past, but familiar, territory with his velocity.
“That’s the first time I’ve seen him at 99 (mph) since I’ve been here,” Tigers’ second-year manager Brad Ausmus said.
What’s more, said Verlander, “it felt great. The same effort was producing 94, 95, 96 earlier.”
In his prime, the 32-year-old’s signature style included dialing upper-90s heat in the late innings, and true to his old form, he stepped on the gas in a seventh-inning jam Wednesday. With two outs and the bases loaded, he used five 98-99 mph fastballs to strike out Soto, exiting with a four-run lead.
Verlander allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts in his seven innings.
Melky Cabrera’s 100th career home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, accounted for the first two Sox runs.
Rajai Davis, who scored three runs, had two singles and a triple for Detroit.
REMEMBERING YOGI BERRA
“It’s sad,” Sox manager Robin Ventura of Berra’s passing. “But anyone who starts thinking about him will smile. I was fortunate enough to play a couple of years with the Yankees and he spent a lot of time in the clubhouse. He lit up the room.
“Just a beautiful person all the way around. His numbers are incredible, but his presence and how he dealt with people were really the biggest thing.”
Sox: Still day-to-day with patella tendinitis in his right knee, 1B Adam LaRoche is “ramping it up and taking batting practice. We’re hoping to get him back in there maybe this weekend,” Ventura said. … 3B Mike Olt, whose third-inning two-out single was Chicago’s first hit off Verlander, left the game with right shoulder discomfort after five innings.
NEXT UP: AT NEW YORK YANKEES
Thursday: 6:05 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 1200-AM, Chris Sale (12-10, 3.47) vs. Michael Pineda (11-8, 4.10)
Friday: 6:05, CSN, 670-AM, 1200-AM, Carlos Rodon (8-6, 3.78) vs. CC Sabathia (5-9, 4.80)
Saturday: 3:05,, CSN, 670-AM, 1200-AM, John Danks (7-13, 4.59) vs. Adam Warren (6-7, 3.46)
Sunday: 12:05, Ch. 9, 670-AM, 1200-AM, TBA vs. Luis Severino (4-3, 3.10)
ChicagoABRHBIBBSOAvg.Eaton dh310010.280Abreu 1b300012.292Tr.Thompson cf310011.314Me.Cabrera lf423300.277Av.Garcia rf401000.259Al.Ramirez ss401100.248C.Sanchez 2b400003.232Olt 3b201001.214G.Beckham 3b100010.206Ge.Soto c300002.223Totals3146449DetroitABRHBIBBSOAvg.Gose cf400001.257R.Davis lf433001.256Kinsler 2b412101.301V.Martinez dh321211.242J.Martinez rf311210.283Castellanos 3b401101.252An.Romine 3b000000.254Avila 1b300112.190J.McCann c400000.267D.Machado ss201011.234Totals3179748Chicago000200110—461Detroit20410000x—790E_Ge.Soto (5). LOB_Chicago 4, Detroit 4. 2B_Me.Cabrera (34), Al.Ramirez (30), J.Martinez (30). 3B_R.Davis (11). HR_Me.Cabrera (12), off Verlander; V.Martinez (11), off Montas. RBIs_Me.Cabrera 3 (76), Al.Ramirez (59), Kinsler (72), V.Martinez 2 (62), J.Martinez 2 (98), Castellanos (71), Avila (13). CS_Olt (1).
Runners left in scoring position_Chicago 3 (Ge.Soto 2, Av.Garcia); Detroit 2 (J.McCann, R.Davis). RISP_Chicago 1 for 4; Detroit 3 for 7.
Runners moved up_Avila. GIDP_Gose, J.McCann.
DP_Chicago 2 (C.Sanchez, Abreu), (C.Sanchez, Al.Ramirez, Abreu); Detroit 1 (Gose, Avila, Verlander).
ChicagoIPHRERBBSONPERAMontas L, 0-1366623725.73Carroll231101293.66D.Webb100012175.02Putnam100001123.91Da.Jennings100011124.15DetroitIPHRERBBSONPERAVerlander W, 4-87533381123.49B.Hardy2-311111163.00VerHagen H, 31-30000022.38N.Feliz S, 8-14100000106.31Inherited runners-scored_VerHagen 1-0. IBB_off Montas (V.Martinez). WP_D.Webb.
Umpires_Home, Tom Woodring; First, Mark Carlson; Second, Brian Gorman; Third, Tripp Gibson.
T_2:58. A_31,889 (41,574).
How they scored:
Tigers first. Gose grounded out, pitcher Montas to first baseman Abreu. R.Davis singled to left. Kinsler struck out. V.Martinez homered to right on a 1-0 count, R.Davis scored. J.Martinez walked. Castellanos popped out to second baseman C.Sanchez.
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Tigers 2, White Sox 0.
Tigers third. Gose grounded out, second baseman C.Sanchez to first baseman Abreu. R.Davis infield single to shortstop. Kinsler singled to right, R.Davis to second. On Ge.Soto’s error on a pickoff attempt, R.Davis to third, Kinsler to second. V.Martinez was intentionally walked. J.Martinez doubled to left, R.Davis scored, Kinsler scored, V.Martinez to third. Castellanos singled to left, V.Martinez scored, J.Martinez to third. Avila grounded out, shortstop Al.Ramirez to first baseman Abreu, J.Martinez scored, Castellanos to second. J.McCann popped out to shortstop Al.Ramirez.
4 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 1 left on. Tigers 6, White Sox 0.
White Sox fourth. Eaton grounded out, second baseman Kinsler to first baseman Avila. Abreu struck out. T.Thompson walked on a full count. Me.Cabrera homered to right on a 0-0 count, T.Thompson scored. Av.Garcia lined out to left fielder R.Davis.
2 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on. Tigers 6, White Sox 2.
Tigers fourth. Carroll pitching. D.Machado infield single to third. Gose hit into a double play, second baseman C.Sanchez to first baseman Abreu, D.Machado out. R.Davis tripled to left. Kinsler infield single to third, R.Davis scored. V.Martinez grounded out, shortstop Al.Ramirez to first baseman Abreu.
1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Tigers 7, White Sox 2.
White Sox seventh. T.Thompson flied out to center fielder Gose. Me.Cabrera singled to center. Av.Garcia singled to center, Me.Cabrera to second. Al.Ramirez doubled to left, Me.Cabrera scored, Av.Garcia to third. C.Sanchez struck out. G.Beckham walked on a full count. Ge.Soto struck out.
1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 left on. Tigers 7, White Sox 3.
White Sox eighth. B.Hardy pitching. Eaton walked. Abreu flied out to center field. T.Thompson struck out. Me.Cabrera doubled to left, Eaton scored. . VerHagen pitching. Av.Garcia fouled out to catcher J.McCann.
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left on. Tigers 7, White Sox 4.