Wells returns to pitching roots in Game 1 rout
Outfielder tosses scoreless ninth inning, fanning one and walking one
CHICAGO -- The most effective White Sox pitcher during a 19-10 Game 1 loss to the Indians on Friday at U.S. Cellular started the nightcap in right field.
Outfielder Casper Wells was called upon to pitch the ninth inning, with relievers Brian Omogrosso and Ramon Troncoso already extended out about as far as they could go and manager Robin Ventura wanting to protect the bullpen for Friday night and the rest of the weekend. Wells previously was going to pitch if the White Sox 16-inning victory in Seattle on June 5 went longer, but he instead made his mound debut against the Indians.
Wells became the first position player to pitch for the White Sox since Dewayne Wise threw a scoreless frame on Sept. 4, 2012, during an 18-9 loss to the Twins. The right-handed-throwing Wells also yielded nothing against the Indians, even picking up a strikeout of Asdrubal Cabrera.
"We've got a couple games to go through, so you're trying to save some arms," Ventura said. "You see how you're going to get through it and see how you can manage it."
It took Wells one pitch, a 91-mph fastball, to retire Mike Aviles on a popup to second baseman Gordon Beckham. Wells then walked Drew Stubbs, struck out Cabrera and then kept his ERA perfect thanks to a run-saving catch by Alejandro De Aza on Jason Kipnis' line drive to left.
Wells, who posted an 8-5 collegiate record with a 5.61 ERA over 35 games during three years at Towson, could get another chance to pitch according to Ventura, although the White Sox hope he isn't needed.