DETROIT (AP) — Andrew Vaughn homered and made two key defensive plays in left field as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 8-2 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
Lance Lynn (8-3) allowed one run on four hits and five walks in six innings, striking out nine.
“This was a weird night. There were times when I felt locked in and other times when everything was a little squirrely,” Lynn said. “Luckily, Vaughn made two great plays for me and the guys scored a bunch of runs.”
Chicago, which leads the AL Central, has won nine of 11 against Detroit this season — including five in a row.
Casey Mize (5-5) gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in three innings. Mize, pitching as an opener to limit his workload, struck out four.
“Obviously I want to get as many outs as I can, so it was strange warming up and knowing I was only going to get three innings,” Mize said. “I understand this is a unique situation, and I’d rather do this than get shut down completely in September.”
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said his plan is to give Mize a quiet July. The rookie has thrown 91 1/3 innings after pitching only 28 1/3 in seven starts last season.
“We can keep him to three innings until the All-Star break, give him the break, and then be careful with him again coming out of the break,” Hinch said. “That should allow him to pitch all season.”
The White Sox took a 2-0 lead with two outs in the first. Yasmani Grandal’s single scored Tim Anderson, and Brian Goodwin followed with a triple into the left-center gap.
Jonathan Schoop nearly put the Tigers ahead in the fifth, but Vaughn made a leaping catch at the wall in left field to turn a possible three-run homer into a sacrifice fly. Vaughn also made a diving catch to rob Daz Cameron of extra bases in the sixth.
“I’m still learning out there, but I’m getting more comfortable,” said Vaughn, who came through the White Sox minor league system as a first baseman. “There’s no way to practice diving catches, but I could tell I was going to be short, so I just tried to stretch out for it.”
Chicago took advantage of a defensive mistake to make it 3-1 in the seventh. With one out and a runner on first, rookie Jake Burger lifted a routine fly to center, but Cameron appeared to lose it in the lights. The ball dropped for a double — Burger’s first career hit — and Danny Mendick followed with a sacrifice fly.
“I’m going to tell my grandkids that I hit a double off the top of the wall,” Burger joked. “They will probably find the video and know I’m lying, but I’ll stick to my story.”
Vaughn and Gavin Sheets homered in a five-run ninth as Chicago scored at least seven times for the fifth consecutive game.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys up here who aren’t just getting hits — they are winning games for us,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “Vaughn gets a homer, Jake makes a perfect swing to get another hit, then Gavin hits a bomb. Danny Mendick drove in some runs, too.”
Burger made his major league debut and grounded into a second-inning double play in his first at-bat. Chicago’s first-round draft pick in 2017, he missed all of 2018 and 2019 with leg injuries and started 2020 playing semi-pro ball. This year, though, he was hitting .322 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs in 42 games with Triple-A Charlotte and was selected to the Futures Game before being called up on Friday.
White Sox: Grandal exited with tightness in his left calf. La Russa said Grandal won’t catch on Saturday but might be available off the bench. ... OF Adam Eaton (hamstring) was activated from the 10-day injured list. The team optioned C Yermin Mercedes and RHP Zach Burdi to Triple-A Charlotte.
Tigers: Reinstated RHP Erasmo Ramirez (pectoral) from the 10-day IL and optioned LHP Miguel Del Pozo to Triple-A Toledo.
The teams continue their weekend series Saturday afternoon, with Tarik Skubal (4-7, 4.06 ERA) facing Chicago LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 3.96).