Tonight on CSN+: Rienzo, White Sox battle Tigers

Tonight on CSN+: Rienzo, White Sox battle Tigers
April 23, 2014, 11:00 am
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Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox are hoping their second fill-in starter in two days fares better than the first.

A night after Charlie Leesman wasn't able to make it through three innings in place of ace Chris Sale, manager Robin Ventura turns to Andre Rienzo for a spot start in place of Felipe Paulino on Wednesday night against the Detroit Tigers.

"You have to have guys be able to fill in, and tonight wasn't the night," Ventura told the team's official website after Tuesday's 8-6 loss.

Rienzo was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday as Paulino was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right rotator cuff inflammation.

[MORE: Verlander, Tigers shut down hobbled White Sox]

Rienzo threw a scoreless inning in his first major league relief appearance in Sunday's 16-2 win over Texas after starting the season 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA in three minor league starts. The right-hander went 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA in 10 starts for Chicago (10-11) last year and faced the Tigers once, holding them to two runs in six innings Aug. 4.

Detroit's Drew Smyly has also transitioned into the rotation. After beginning the season with six scoreless innings in the Tigers' bullpen, Smyly (1-1, 4.00 ERA) struggled in his first start, allowing four runs on six hits in three innings of Friday's 11-6 home loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

"For whatever reason, when I got later in the count, they just started fouling a lot of pitches off, making it tough on me - foul, foul, ball, ball, foul, and then a base hit or something," Smyly told the team's official website. "They were just making me work, man."

He's seen plenty of the White Sox in the last two seasons, though seven of his nine appearances against them have come out of the bullpen. He had a 4.91 ERA in the two starts, both of which came in May 2012.

[RELATED: White Sox, Sale breathe a sigh of relief after MRI results]

The Tigers (10-7) evened the series Tuesday, and Chicago designated hitter Adam Dunn figured Detroit was happy to see anyone but Sale, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his prized left arm.

"No offense to Charlie, but I'm sure those guys were pretty excited when they heard Chris was scratched," Dunn said. "That would be true no matter which pitcher we were sending out there instead of him."

The top three hitters in Detroit's lineup - Rajai Davis, Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera - jumped on Leesman and the White Sox's bullpen for a 7-for-14 night. Cabrera went 3 for 5 with his second home run to break out of a 1-for-15 slump.

"You like to see results, but he really did take some great swings yesterday and that was just a precursor to today," starter Justin Verlander said of Cabrera. "Hopefully that gets him jump-started."

[ALSO: White Sox stay upbeat even as injuries pile up]

The Tigers had 15 hits and are batting .328 in their last seven games against the White Sox, who fell to 7-22 in Detroit since the start of 2011.

After managing just five hits in its series-opening win, Chicago got plenty of pop from the middle of its order. Dunn and first baseman Jose Abreu each homered while right fielder Dayan Viciedo went 4 for 4 to improve to 10 for 16 in his last four games and break out of a 3-for-21 stretch against Detroit.

White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie missed Tuesday's game with a sore left hand and is expected to again be out of the lineup on Wednesday.