Skubal pitches 3-hit ball over 6 innings as Tigers open with 1-0 win over White Sox

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Friday, March 29, 2024

CHICAGO -- - Tarik Skubal acknowledged feeling some jitters leading up to his first opening-day start. Once he stepped on the mound, they all seemed to go away.

Skubal pitched six innings of three-hit ball and the Detroit Tigers kicked off a promising season on a winning note, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0 on Thursday.

Skubal and three relievers combined to retire the final 17 batters. The White Sox did not advance past first base and wasted a terrific start by Garrett Crochet.

Javier Báez singled and scored on Andy Ibáñez's sacrifice fly in the third. The Tigers finished with six hits.

Skubal (1-0) picked up right where he left off last year. The 27-year-old left-hander struck out six without a walk, after going 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his final five outings a year ago.

Skubal also made his major league debut for Detroit at Guaranteed Rate Field in 2020, with no fans in attendance because of the pandemic. Though he has pitched in Chicago a few times since then, he called it a "full circle" moment for him.

"To come back and be able to start opening day kind of makes up for that in a way," he said.

A dominant start made it that much sweeter.

"He knows what he's got," Báez said. "He really worked hard for it. I think he can win a Cy Young if we've got a good plan, which we do."

Shelby Miller pitched a perfect seventh. Andrew Chafin got four outs before Jason Foley earned the save by striking out Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert Jr.

Crochet (0-1) tossed six sparkling innings in his first professional start, allowing five hits. The 24-year-old left-hander struck out eight and walked none.

Crochet, who has 72 career relief appearances for the White Sox, got the nod for the opener after former ace Dylan Cease was traded to San Diego two weeks ago.

"I've been in the big moment before - nothing, obviously, as great as this," Crochet said. "But it was nice to just give my team a fighting chance. I felt like as long as I was doing that, I was able to keep my emotions under control."

Deivi García worked the seventh. Michael Kopech pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth when he struck out Matt Vierling. But the White Sox opened on a familiar note coming off a 101-loss season.


Tigers: RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (strained left groin) was placed on the 15-day injured list, and RHP Miguel Díaz was designated for assignment.

White Sox: LHP Shane Drohan (left shoulder nerve decompression surgery) and RHP Jimmy Lambert (right rotator cuff strain) were placed on the 60-day injured list. Chicago also designated LHP Sammy Peralta for assignment and selected the contracts of RHPs Jordan Leasure, Dominic Leone and Bryan Shaw.


Tigers RHP Kenta Maeda and White Sox RHP Michael Soroka make their first starts for their new teams on Saturday. The Tigers signed the 35-year-old Maeda to a $24 million, two-year contract to help them win games and mentor the team's younger pitchers. Soroka gets a fresh start following a trade from Atlanta and hopes to regain the form that made him an All-Star for the Braves in 2019. ------


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