Davidson, Soto power White Sox past Tigers, 11-2
CHICAGO (AP) — In his first at-bat since breaking his right foot running the bases in his season debut last June, Matt Davidson put it to the test.
The designated hitter rounded two bags sharply and dug for his first career triple, sparking Chicago to an 11-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday for manager Rick Renteria’s first victory with the White Sox.
“I tried not to think about it, but I’m glad I got it done,” said Davidson, who added his first home run as a member of the White Sox in the fourth inning. “There will be a lot of firsts this year.”
Geovany Soto, the catcher who joined the White Sox as a free agent this offseason, added his first two home runs for Chicago. It was his fourth career multi-home run game, and first since 2011 when he was with the Chicago Cubs.
It helped lift starting pitcher James Shields (1-0) to a fresh season start, as he allowed two hits and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings. It was a positive start following a rough season last year after Chicago acquired the right-hander in a trade with San Diego. He went 4-12 with a 6.77 ERA.
Shields allowed Tyler Collins’ solo homer in the second inning to open the scoring, but the Tigers managed only four hits.
The Chicago output escalated from two runs in the second inning, to three in the third and four in the fourth in cold and windy — but sunny — conditions after rain washed out two starts between the teams this week.
Soto’s three-run home run in the third made it 5-1 and chased left-hander Matthew Boyd (0-1).
“It looked like he was having trouble with his command, and in spring training he was commanding the ball extremely well,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Can’t do anything about it now. We’ll come back in five days and hope he’s back to where he was.”
Anibal Sanchez struggled in relief, also giving up five runs. Sanchez gave up Davidson’s blast to left-center field in the fourth inning for a 9-1 lead.
Dan Jennings, Michael Ynoa and Tommy Kahnle combined for 3 2/3 innings of relief, giving up two hits and an unearned run.
The White Sox agreed to terms with RHP Mike Pelfrey on a minor-league deal after being released by the Tigers in spring training.
Pelfrey, 33, made 22 starts for Detroit last season, going 4-10 with a 5.07 ERA. He will join the rotation in Triple-A Charlotte and will be paid $8 million by the Tigers this season.
Alex Avila had an RBI double in the eighth inning in his first at-bat back with the Tigers after playing with the White Sox last season.
Tigers: Ausmus said part of the reason RHP Jordan Zimmermann was moved back in the rotation from Thursday to Saturday after Wednesday’s rainout was because of illness. “Zimm was sick a couple days ago, he was throwing up,” Ausmus said. “I figured we could give him some extra days and get him back to full strength.”
White Sox: The White Sox placed right-handed reliever Jake Petricka on the 10-day disabled list before the game because of a strained right lat. Kahnle, a right-hander, was called up from Triple-A Charlotte.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer (11-7, 3.06 ERA last season), who started briefly in Triple-A Toledo last year before winning the American League Rookie of the Year award, gets the ball for the home opener Friday against the Boston Red Sox.
White Sox: LHP Derek Holland (7-9, 4.95) will make his White Sox debut Friday as the homestand continues against the Minnesota Twins.