CHICAGO -- Buck Farmer set a career high with 11 strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings, helping the Tigers gain a split in Saturday's doubleheader with a 4-3 victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox won the opener, 3-0, with Tyler Danish picking up his first career win in his first big league start.
"It's been a long time coming, I'll say that," said Farmer, who also earned his first career win. "I've waited the better parts of three different seasons for it, so it feels good to kind of get that weight off my shoulders."
Detroit held on in the ninth as the White Sox rallied for three runs off of Justin Wilson. But with Yolmer Sanchez on third after a two-run triple, Wilson fanned pinch-hitter Todd Frazier and Adam Engel to finish the split.
"We were able to, toward the end of the ballgame, put something together," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "But just fell short."
In the nightcap, Farmer fanned nine over the first four innings to give Detroit's slumbering offense a chance to awaken. John Hicks put the Tigers on the board with a solo home run to left off of White Sox starter Derek Holland in the fourth. That run held until the seventh, when the Tigers added two more. Victor Martinez homered to lead off the ninth and complete the scoring for Detroit.
Holland fanned eight over six innings, yielding just Hicks' homer on seven hits and four walks. White Sox pitchers walked 15 between the two games, but they also struck out 29, and none of those 15 walks scored. Engel, who scored in Game 1 as a pinch-runner, picked up his first Major League hit with a one-out single to left in the eighth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A moment too long: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said between games in Saturday's doubleheader that his team's issue wasn't getting on base -- it was knocking in runs. The Tigers appeared poised to finally do so in the bottom of the second inning of Saturday's second game, as Justin Upton lined a single to right field with a pair of runners on. However, Victor Martinez -- stationed at second when Upton got the hit -- hesitated while rounding third, then ran past third base coach Dave Clark's stop sign. White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia threw him out at home to keep things scoreless.
Any way you can: The Tigers thrice had the bases loaded in a tight ballgame through the series' first three games, and failed to convert a single run out of it. They finally broke through in the seventh, as J.D. Martinez lofted a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to right that scored Andrew Romine. The Tigers added another run in the inning as Nicholas Castellanos scored on a wild strike-three pitch to Upton and extended the lead to 3-0.
"It allows you to exhale a little bit."
-- Engel, on scoring his first big league run and getting his first big league hit on the same day
"It's tough to be as crisp as [Farmer] was today. He was really good. He had all of it working. He dumped a few curveballs in for strikes early, sliders, the changeup was really good and the fastball, he commanded as well as I've ever seen him do."
Tigers:Jordan Zimmermann looks to overcome a rocky start to 2017 in Sunday's series finale, taking the mound for Detroit with a 4-3 record and a 5.86 ERA. It will be the fourth game in a span of around 48 hours for Detroit, with first pitch scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET.
White Sox:Miguel Gonzalez (3-5, 4.55 ERA) takes the mound for Sunday's 1:10 p.m. CT series finale, with a five-game losing streak coming with him. Gonzalez has yielded 22 earned runs over 28 1/3 innings for a 6.99 ERA in those past five starts.
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