By LARRY LAGE | AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Javier Báez wound up with a winning RBI single on a game-ending replay reversal in his Detroit debut, and the Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Friday.
With two out and a runner on third in the ninth inning, Báez hit a drive to right off Liam Hendriks that sent AJ Pollock back to the wall. Pollock appeared to make a juggling catch, but the ball struck the wall before going off the outfielder's glove.
The new-look Tigers started celebrating as they realized what happened, and the opening-day crowd joined in after umpire Marvin Hudson announced the reversal of the call.
Eric Haase hit a solo homer off Hendriks (0-1) earlier in the ninth.
Chicago's Andrew Vaughn hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Gregory Soto (1-0) in the top of the ninth.
The defending AL Central champion White Sox scored a run in the first inning and two more in the second against the Tigers, who were held scoreless until the sixth.
Miguel Cabrera’s 2,988th career hit pulled Detroit into a 3-all tie in the eighth that didn't last long.
Vaughn hit a soaring shot just inside the left-field foul pole on Soto's fourth pitch of the day.
Hendriks was one of five pitchers that Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa used in relief of Lucas Giolito, whose dominant day was cut short by injury.
The 6-foot-6 right-hander struck out six in four innings of one-hit ball before departing with abdominal tightness on his left side.
Detroit scored its first run on Jeimer Candelario’s RBI single in the sixth, but he negated a second run by getting called for interference on a slide into shortstop Leury García at second base as he tried to turn a double play.
Cabrera’s bases-loaded bloop single to right scored two, pulling Detroit into a 3-all tie.
In his Detroit debut, Eduardo Rodriguez started the game by striking out Pollock before giving up a pair of two-out walks and allowing a run on Eloy Jiménez's single.
The White Sox took a 3-0 lead in the second inning with more two-out runs on Pollock’s single and Luis Robert’s double.
Rodriguez threw 20 pitches to the first four batters, setting him up for a short outing after an abbreviated spring training. He permitted four hits, struck out two and walked two in four innings.
Pollock, acquired last week in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for closer Craig Kimbrel, had three hits in his White Sox debut.
In a quest to be relevant, the Tigers made a splash by signing Báez to a $140 million contract to add a desperately needed shortstop and inking Rodríguez to a $77 million deal.
Tigers: Manager A.J. Hinch said LHP Andrew Chafin (groin) is ahead of RHP Kyle Funkhouser (shoulder) in coming back from the IL. Hinch said he doesn’t expect Funkhouser to pitch this month.
Chicago plans to start RHP Dylan Cease (13-7, 3.91 ERA in 2021) against Detroit RHP Casey Mize (7-9, 3.71 ERA in 2021) on Saturday afternoon. Cease’s career record against Detroit is 11-0 with a 1.82 ERA. Mize, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, is looking forward to facing the defending division champions in his season debut. “They’re on top right now and we’re going to go after them,” he said.
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