CHICAGO (AP) — There was a lot to like about Chris Bassitt’s major league debut Saturday night. There also was plenty of stuff to work on.
Bassitt pitched into the seventh inning, but was charged with five runs as the Chicago White Sox lost 8-4 to the Detroit Tigers in the second game of a day-night doubleheader.
“Nervous a little bit? Yeah. It was a great lineup I was going up against,” Bassitt said. “I try to say the same thing, it’s baseball, still the same game so I tried to go out there and compete as much as I could.
“I smiled pretty big in the inside but I was like, ‘I got to keep going, Victor (Martinez) is up now, so here we go.‘”
In the opener, Chris Sale struck out a season-high 13, beating Max Scherzer in a matchup of All-Star aces and leading Chicago to a 6-3 win.
Promoted from Double-A Birmingham, Bassitt (0-1) allowed seven hits, struck out four and walked four in 6 1-3 innings.
Bassitt got manager Robin Ventura’s attention by rebounding after a two-run third inning and a three-run fourth.
“Besides a couple of innings there he settled down and he kind of gathered it back together,” Ventura said. “Nice to see. He’s got a real live arm. For the first time it was intriguing. It was one of those things, you like what you see and he is pretty young. He’ll be up here in September and we’ll see what we do.”
Ezequiel Carrera, Don Kelly and Ian Kinsler each had three hits for Detroit in the nightcap. Kyle Ryan (1-0) pitched six scoreless innings in his major league debut.
“(Ryan) didn’t allow the game to speed up on him,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He did a good job to keep his wits about him.”
Detroit moved back into a tie for the AL Central lead, but Miguel Cabrera’s sore right ankle forced him from the game in the fourth inning. The winner of the last two AL MVP awards could be out for four or five days, a subject that Ausmus broached with him earlier in the week.
“It flares up from time to time with different movements and different actions,” Ausmus said. “I told him I could give him a day tomorrow, and he said, ‘No, don’t decide now because I might be good in the morning.‘
“We want him in the lineup because he’s such a presence, but we need him to be healthy, too. So it’s a delicate balance.”
Cabrera did not speak with reporters before he was escorted out of U.S. Cellular Field on a golf cart.
Detroit had a 5-0 lead before the White Sox scored four times in the eighth. Avisail Garcia had a run-scoring fielder’s choice before Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer off Joba Chamberlain.
But the Tigers put it away with three runs in the ninth. J.D. Martinez hit a sacrifice fly and Alex Avila and Kelly added RBI singles.
Sale (11-3) struck out at least 10 for the 17th time in his career, tying Hall of Famer Ed Walsh for the franchise record. The lanky left-hander reached that figure in 81 major league starts — Walsh made 312 for the White Sox from 1904-1916.
Sale allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings. Jake Petricka pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer and Tyler Flowers also went deep against Scherzer (15-5), who fanned 11 and walked none in 6 2-3 innings. But he was touched up for six runs, five earned, and nine hits in the makeup of a June 10 rainout.
“That was the frustrating part of it. I had great stuff today,” Scherzer said. “Anytime you can strike out 11 and not walk anyone, you’re doing things right. But I got beat on a couple of pitches.”
White Sox: Jose Abreu started at DH in both games and was limping at times, the result of an upper leg problem that Ventura dismissed as fatigue before the game. “No, not at all,” Abreu said when asked whether he had changed his approach at the plate. “In fact, it’s not an injury. It’s just something that’s bothering me and I’m working at (in therapy).”
Tigers RHP Rick Porcello (15-8, 3.06 ERA) will oppose White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (6-10, 3.48 ERA) in the series finale Sunday.
DE AZA DEALT
The White Sox traded OF Alejandro De Aza to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league right-handers Mark Blackmar and Miguel Chalas.
LA RUSSA, JACKIE ROBINSON KIDS GET THEIR DUE
Ex-White Sox manager Tony La Russa and the Jackie Robinson West Little League team on Chicago’s South Side were honored before the second game.