DETROIT (AP) — Chris Bassitt pitched into the eighth inning for his first major league win, and the Chicago White Sox slowed Detroit’s chase of the AL Central title with a 2-0 victory over the Tigers on Monday night.
Detroit is one game ahead of the second-place Royals , who beat Cleveland 2-0 in their regularly scheduled game. Hours earlier, the Indians finished off a victory in a suspended game against Kansas City .
Tyler Flowers hit a two-run homer for the White Sox , and the Tigers were unable to take advantage of Chicago’s inexperienced starter.
The loss assured Detroit would start a division series on the road, even if it wins the AL Central.
The game turned into an unexpected pitchers’ duel between Bassitt and fellow rookie Kyle Lobstein . Both were making their fifth career start, but they looked like aces in the middle of a pennant race.
Bassitt (1-1) went 7 2-3 innings and pitched out of two early jams. He gave up six hits, walked one batter — the last one he faced — and struck out Alex Avila three times but no one else. Jake Petricka got four outs for his 14th save.
Lobstein (1-1) was trying for his second victory, but didn’t get any offensive support. He allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in a career-best seven innings.
Chicago took a 2-0 lead with a two-out rally in the second. Carlos Sanchez hit a ground-rule double to left-center and, on the next pitch, Flowers lined a homer into the White Sox bullpen.
Detroit had a pair of early threats, but Ian Kinsler was caught stealing in the first inning — leaving the bases empty for Miguel Cabrera’s 50th double. Right fielder Avisail Garcia robbed Cabrera of a probable RBI double with a sliding catch in the third.
Cabrera hit another ball hard off Bassitt in the eighth, but his slicing line drive was right at Moises Sierra in left. Victor Martinez drew a walk, and Petricka came in to strike out J.D. Martinez.
White Sox : OF Adam Eaton, who has missed the last two games for personal reasons, is expected to join the team in time for Tuesday’s game in Detroit .
Tigers: Avila (concussion) was a late addition to the lineup after the team was able to get his paperwork approved by Major League Baseball about 45 minutes before the first pitch. … Detroit will activate RHP Anibal Sanchez (pectoral strain) from the disabled list Tuesday, and he will pitch out of the bullpen for the rest of the season.
Detroit will try to even the series behind LHP David Price (14-12, 3.37 ERA), while Scott Carroll (5-10, 5.01) goes for the White Sox . The Tigers will honor Paul Konerko in a pregame ceremony.