CHICAGO -- Tyler Danish might not have been quite as dominant as his mound counterpart, Michael Fulmer, but the rookie still pitched well enough to claim his first big league victory in a 3-0 White Sox win over the Tigers during Game 1 of a doubleheader Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
"That's great," Danish said. "I mean, you dream as a kid to pitch in the big leagues. To get my first win in my first career start was special. I'm glad my mom was here. I'm glad she got to enjoy that. It was a very special day, something I'll always remember."
Fulmer was completely in control through seven innings, needing just 67 pitches to get to the eighth. He was trailing, 1-0, at the time, when the White Sox added two more. Omar Narvaez singled, and pinch-runner Adam Engel, who joined the team Saturday morning from Triple-A Charlotte, scored easily from first on Leury Garcia's triple. After a walk to Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu's broken-bat single fell in front of center fielder Tyler Collins' diving attempt for another run.
"I think I was just unlucky," Fulmer said. "There was a lot of soft contact today, a low pitch count early on. And then in the eighth inning, I think I gave up one hard-hit ball all day. I was happy with where I was at.
"Maybe if I had just stuck with the sinker all game, it would have turned out a little better. I left a couple changeups that matched their bat speed, and they got their bat head on it and got on base. You just have to do what you can not to give up any runs at all."
Danish picked up his first big league decision, not to mention his first big league strikeout, in his first big league start. He allowed three hits and six walks over five innings and 104 pitches, but he struck out six. Chris Beck, Anthony Swarzak, Tommy Kahnle and Player Page for David Robertson completed the shutout, with Swarzak striking out the side in the seventh and Kahnle doing the same in the eighth.
White Sox pitchers struck out 15, but they also walked nine, and the Tigers still were unable to score. The Sox scored their first run in the fifth. Tim Anderson beat out a grounder to shortstop Jose Iglesias, Matt Davidson dropped a single to right and Narvaez reached on a bunt single. Anderson came home on Yolmer Sanchez's double-play grounder with the bases loaded.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Walk on the wild side: Danish threw 29 pitches in the first inning, walked three and allowed a leadoff single to Andrew Romine but still didn't yield a run. Jose Cabrera had a 3-1 count with runners on first and second and nobody out before grounding into a double play, slickly turned by Anderson and Sanchez. With the bases loaded two batters later, Nicholas Castellanos grounded out to second to end the threat.
"I definitely was nervous in the first inning. I was expecting it. I came in and tried to pitch as well as I could with that," said Danish, who got the baseball from his first career strikeout and the final out of the game. "But I did settle in after the first couple innings and just started breathing a little more. I felt comfortable, and the bullpen did a great job, the defense did a great job."
"He was throwing enough strikes that with the sinking action, he was able to get that ground ball in the first inning, the double play," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Then most of the game, he was still staying down in the zone. He was missing, but just missing off on the fringes of the plate."
Don't let Victor win: The White Sox clearly had a strategy of pitching around Victor Martinez on Saturday, as the designated hitter walked three times. That third walk loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, leading to reliever Swarzak firing a 95-mph four-seam fastball past a swinging Justin Upton to end the threat.
"Right now, we're just not getting the big hit," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We've had men on base -- plenty of men on base -- but we're just not coming up with the big hit. At some point we will, and we'll break the ice and we'll be fine. Today, that obviously wasn't the case."
"Of course people are frustrated. The players are frustrated when you don't win games, and they're frustrated when you don't get hits. It happens." -- Ausmus
"Like I said, very special day. Hopefully many more to come."-- Danish, on his first career win
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Tigers' nine walks were their most in a shutout since a 4-0 loss to Cleveland on June 19, 1977, and their second most ever. It's also just two off the Major League record of 11, which was last accomplished in 1970.
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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