Dylan Cease sharp in first start of season as White Sox top Tigers for first victory
Cease struck out eight and allowed one run in five innings against the Tigers.
DETROIT — Five innings from a starter never looked so good.
That’s what right-hander Dylan Cease gave the White Sox in their second game of the season Saturday, hours after they learned Opening Day starter Lucas Giolito would be out for a couple of starts or more.
And with right-hander Michael Kopech not expected to go very deep into the game Sunday and relievers Kendall Graveman and Liam Hendriks needing a day of rest after getting up twice in a one-run loss Friday, Cease delivered by pitching into the sixth inning in the Sox’ 5-2 victory against the Tigers.
The guy some thought would be the Sox’ top starter in 2022 — even before right-handers Lance Lynn and Giolito got hurt — Cease struck out eight, walked three and gave up one run and two hits. He threw 79 pitches.
‘‘It means a lot,’’ said Cease, who improved to 9-0 in 10 starts against the Tigers. ‘‘All of us starters take pride with a chip on our shoulder to eat as many innings as we can. [The Tigers] won in a good fashion [Friday], but we showed that we’re still here.’’
Pollock leaves with tight hamstring
Right fielder AJ Pollock left in the third inning after he tweaked his right hamstring while rounding first base after his fourth hit of the season. He dealt with hamstring issues in both legs last season but said this was much milder.
Pollock was going to miss one to three games on paternity leave starting Tuesday and will have the hamstring reassessed after that.
Left-hander Aaron Bummer pitched the ninth inning to close out the Sox’ victory. After giving up two singles to open the ninth, Bummer struck out Jonathan Schoop, Spencer Torkelson and Dustin Garneau to end the game.
Bummer allowed two runs in the Sox’ season-opening loss Friday.
‘‘Baseball, especially as a reliever, you get punched a lot,’’ Bummer said. ‘‘It’s how you stand up and respond to getting punched in the mouth.’’
Bummer threw 24 pitches in each game and will be unavailable Sunday.
Sousa marches on
Left-hander Bennett Sousa followed his scoreless major-league debut Friday by retiring all four batters he faced in relief of Cease.
‘‘He’s probably the best story of spring training,’’ manager Tony La Russa said.
Eloy Jimenez drove in Luis Robert and Jose Abreu with a single against Tigers right-hander Casey Mize in the first, Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run home run that ended Mize’s day in the sixth and Josh Harrison (2-for-4) scored on a single by Andrew Vaughn in the seventh.
This and that
The Sox turned three double plays and got a key first out in the sixth when Javy Baez tried to score on a pitch by right-hander Reynaldo Lopez that got away from Grandal. Lopez broke a little late to the plate but tagged out Baez, who was sliding headfirst.
‘‘We practice that in spring training,’’ La Russa said.
• Bummer had a Thor hammer in his locker, a new award handed out by Hendriks for any pitcher who strikes out the side.
• The Sox have struck out a combined eight times in their first two games. Sox pitchers have struck out 23 Tigers.
• Shortstop Tim Anderson will return to the lineup Sunday after serving a two-game suspension for bumping an umpire late last season.
• La Russa said outfielder Adam Engel and infielder Danny Mendick will be in the lineup Sunday.