By SARAH TROTTO | Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Johnny Cueto allowed five hits over eight innings, Gavin Sheets hit a three-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat Detroit 8-0 Saturday to end the Tigers’ season-high six-game winning streak.
Cueto (3-4) and José Ruiz combined on a six-hitter in the 11th shutout against the Tigers this season. Cueto struck out five and walked none in the longest outing by a White Sox pitcher in 2022. He had allowed eight runs over his previous 17 1/3 innings.
“It’s just a beautiful thing to watch, from our side,” manager Tony La Russa said.
Detroit didn’t have an extra-base hit until Spencer Torkelson’s eighth-inning double.
“He was good,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said of Cueto. “It was his day. We didn’t really do a ton against him to stress him. He made pitches, the ball moves, he disrupts timing, the quick pitch, the slow pitch, everything in-between. He’s a veteran guy who’s evolved. He left a little in the tank for later, started hitting 93s, 94s.”
Kody Clemens, a son of Roger Clemens who usually plays left and the infield, threw a 1-2-3 eighth for Detroit in his second big league pitching appearance. Kody Clemens made his mound debut against the White Sox on June 15.
José Abreu, Tim Anderson and Sheets each had a pair of hits for the White Sox, who have won two of their last six. The reigning AL Central champions improved to 18-25 at home.
Detroit’s winning streak was its longest since seven in a row last July 17-22.
Miguel Cabrera went 0 for 3, a day after he was selected to his 12th All-Star Game.
Sheets hit a three-run home run on a 3-0 pitch by Garrett Hill (1-1) in the first after Andrew Vaughn doubled and Luis Robert walked.
“That’s something that we did really well last year and that’s something we do as a team,” Sheets said of the two-out hits. “So to see that today was a good sign. Obviously missing (injured catcher Yasmani Grandal), but we’re at full health, and this is the lineup we expect to produce every day.”
Robert added an RBI single and Abreu hit a two-run double in the second. Abreu’s hitting streak reached 14 games.
Chicago extended its lead to 8-0 in the sixth on an Anderson RBI single and a wild pitch by Will Vest.
Hill needed 35 pitches in the first inning and 21 in the second, allowing six runs. He then retired nine straight batters over three scoreless innings.
“I liked how he made some adjustments and started being a little more aggressive with the strike zone and not getting into bad counts against their power hitters,” Hinch said.
Hill, a 26-year-old right-hander, won his major league debut Monday against Cleveland, giving up one run in six innings.
Cueto, a 15-year veteran, signed with Chicago as a minor league free agent April 8. The White Sox selected his contract from Triple-A Charlotte May 16.
“He should have been in here since Opening Day, that’s what he’s meant,” La Russa said. “He’s picked us up when we needed it. We were talking about it earlier, it still bothers a lot of us the records of our starting rotation. Johnny is still an under-.500 pitcher and he’s pitched much better than that. But get that offense going like it was today.”
Added Cueto, “You work for this.”
KEEPING A PROMISE
The Tigers’ Twitter account shared a video of reliever Gregory Soto shaving third base coach Ramón Santiago’s head in the clubhouse after Detroit beat the White Sox on Friday. Santiago told his teammates he would go bald if the Tigers won six straight.
“The first thing they wanted to do last night was shave his head,” Hinch said before Saturday’s game. “We’ll see if that trend continues. The next question about when I’m going to do it? They’re going to need a lot more. There’s always a number. We’re not quite there yet.”
Tigers LHP Sam Howard cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Toledo. He was designated for assignment Tuesday to make room for RHP Drew Hutchison.
Tigers: OF Austin Meadows (strained right and left Achilles tendons) is unlikely to return Monday. Hinch said Meadows will likely return later in the week. Meadows has experienced soreness during his rehab assignment with Toledo.
White Sox: OF Eloy Jiménez (hamstring tear) was dealing with normal soreness, La Russa said, and did not play. Jiménez was activated from the injured list Wednesday after he was injured April 23.
RHP Drew Hutchison (1-4, 4.30 ERA) takes the mound for the Tigers against RHP Michael Kopech (2-6, 3.34) in Sunday’s series finale.
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