Less than two months ago, left-hander Ross Detwiler was pitching for the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League. The team’s stadium was 100 miles from Philadelphia and a million miles from the big leagues.
Detwiler, 33, easily could have called it a career rather than put up with the unending bus rides and uncertain future. Instead, he kept pitching, believing he could climb back to the majors.
Detwiler’s determination paid off as he made his White Sox debut Friday. He limited a dangerous Twins lineup to two runs and six hits in five innings in the Sox’ 6-4 victory. Not bad for someone whose previous major-league start was Sept. 18, 2016, with the Athletics.
‘‘I always thought I belonged here,’’ Detwiler said. ‘‘But it took a different path than most people.’’
The Sox’ lineup helped Detwiler (1-0) in his bid to outduel Twins ace Jose Berrios.
James McCann launched a two-run home run in the first inning to open the scoring for the Sox. He ripped a first-pitch fastball an estimated 411 feet to center field.
After the Twins evened the score on a two-run homer by Miguel Sano in the second, Jon Jay and Jose Abreu hit back-to-back RBI singles in the fifth to put the Sox back on top.
Eloy Jimenez then hit a two-run homer in the eighth. It turned out to be critical when Sano hit another two-run homer in the ninth.
Alex Colome got the final three outs for his 17th save.
The Sox turned to Detwiler to help patch together an injury-riddled rotation. Left-hander Manny Banuelos and right-hander Dylan Covey are on the injured list, and the Sox had seen enough of right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne after he gave up 14 earned runs in 13„ innings in three starts.
Detwiler threw 73 pitches, 48 for strikes. He relied mostly on sinkers, fastballs and changeups to keep the Twins off-balance.
‘‘You’re talking about perseverance, a guy who’s been through different paths to get here,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘I certainly appreciate it. I know that everybody’s path is different, but I appreciate what [Detwiler] has gone through.
‘‘I thought he did a great job today. He showed us certainly that he’s able to pitch.’’
Detwiler credited catcher McCann for much of his success.
‘‘He’s never seen me before, and for him to work this well with me the first time really says something about him,’’ Detwiler said.
McCann returned the praise.
‘‘We had a really good conversation pregame about our game plan,’’ McCann said. “The way he executed, that’s the most important part. . . . He executed extremely well and gave us a solid outing.’’
Detwiler said he enjoyed his first action with the Sox. He grew up outside St. Louis, not far from former Sox star Mark Buehrle.
‘‘He’s about 15 minutes from me,’’ Detwiler said. ‘‘We worked out in the offseason a few times.’’
Did he think about Buehrle as he joined the Sox?
‘‘Yeah, they wouldn’t give me [No.] 56,’’ he said with a laugh.
Did he actually ask for it?
‘‘No,’’ he said. ‘‘I believe that’s sacred around here.’’