Outside of one rough inning, White Sox pitchers fared just fine on a bullpen day — but the offense couldn't solve Max Scherzer in a 5-1 loss to the Tigers Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
Scherzer shut out the White Sox for six innings, and baseball's highest-scoring offense couldn't push anything home until there were two outs in the ninth off a trio of Tigers relievers. The White Sox weren't without chances, but combined to go just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Starter Hector Noesi was only expected to throw 55-60 pitches and cruised through his first three innings, retiring nine straight batters after allowing a single to Ian Kinsler to lead off the game. But Detroit figured out Noesi the second time through the order, batting him around for a four-run fourth to knock him out of the game.
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Jake Petricka and Zach Putnam combined to throw 3 1/3 scoreless innings, and Daniel Webb nearly bailed out a wild Maikel Cleto in the ninth. But after striking out Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded, Webb walked Victor Martinez to push across Detroit's fifth run and keep the White Sox bullpen from having a scoreless day behind Noesi.
The Sox had offensive chances in the third and fourth, but Scherzer got strikeouts when he needed it to strand two men on base in each inning. From that point on it was smooth sailing for the reigning AL Cy Young winner as well as relievers Al Alburquerque, Joba Chamberlain and Evan Reed, who combined to retire 17 of the last 20 batters they faced.