Sawyer Gipson-Long won his major league debut, Spencer Torkelson hit a two-run double in a three-run third inning and the Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Sunday.
“That was a really good day for us, and certainly for Sawyer -- what a debut,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “This is the result of a complete evolution of a pitcher.”
Torkelson had two hits for the Tigers, who have gone 5-1 against Chicago over the past two weekends. They won the season series 8-5 after going 21-45 versus the White Sox from 2019-22.
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Gipson-Long threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits. Four relievers finished for Detroit, with Alex Lange pitching the ninth for his 23rd save.
“He had really good stuff, which is tough when you haven’t seen him before,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said about Gipson-Long. “That’s another arm added to their stable. They’ve got something good going on over there with a bunch of young starters.”
Jesse Scholtens (1-8) took the loss, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings.
The Tigers took the lead in the third. Zach McKinstry and Matt Vierling started the inning with singles, and Torkelson followed with his two-run double.
“It’s like any other at-bat -- look for a good pitch and put a good swing on it,” Torkelson said. “Sawyer pitched really well, that was awesome to see.”
Andre Lipcius made it 3-0 with an RBI single, but Scholtens got out of the inning by catching a line drive and doubling off Andy Ibanez at third.
“It’s super frustrating to have an inning like that,” Scholtens said. “They hit some balls and they found holes. All you can do is keep trying to execute your pitches.”
Chicago got a run back in the fourth when Andrew Benintendi tripled and scored on Eloy Jiménez’s double.
The White Sox started the sixth with a double and a single, bringing Will Vest out of the bullpen. Benintendi lined out to deep right-center, moving Lenyn Sosa to third, and Luis Robert Jr. followed with an RBI single.
Vest walked Jiménez to load the bases, but Yasmani Grandal hit into an inning-ending double play to keep the score 3-2.
“(Grandal) hit the ball hard up the middle, which is what you want in that spot,” Grifol said. “But it hits the pitcher’s glove, bounces off the mound and right to their guy.
“There’s not much else you can do there.”
Chicago didn’t get another baserunner.
END OF THE ROAD
The White Sox were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention with the loss -- a reality they’ve accepted for months.
“It hasn’t been a good season,” Grifol said. “We had high expectations coming into the year, and now we’ve had to flip our focus to make sure we see everything we can to get ready for next year.
“We’re still fighting to win every game, but we’re also looking at how things work at the major league level.”
The White Sox return home to begin a three-game series with last-place Kansas City. RHP Dylan Cease (6-7, 4.98 ERA) starts the opener Monday.
Detroit is off Monday before beginning a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds. LHP Joey Wentz (2-11, 6.65) is scheduled to pitch Tuesday.