The pitchers' duel that was supposed to be featured in the matinee of Saturday's doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field turned into more of a slugfest. While Chris Sale and Max Scherzer each recorded double-digit strikeouts, both aces also surrendered a pair of home runs, as the White Sox beat the Tigers, 6-3.
The day's second game will feature two pitchers making their big league debuts.
Left-hander Kyle Ryan wasn't even with the Tigers during Spring Training, but he was penciled as a spot starter after an hour of discussion among coaches on Thursday. With Triple-A Toledo, Ryan is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA and .184 average against in five starts. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus labeled him a finesse pitcher.
White Sox righty Chris Bassitt was with Double-A Birmingham this week, and didn't debut this year until July 12, after breaking his pitching hand during a non-baseball activity. Bassitt was 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA, a .206 average against, 36 strikeouts and 14 walks in 34 2/3 innings pitched over six starts with Birmingham.
"You look at him, just size-wise and how [the ball] comes out of his hand, it's an intriguing pitcher -- just because of the way he throws," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We were impressed with him then. It was fun watching him in Spring Training. Now, you get a chance to see him up here against some good hitters."
This doubleheader was necessary because of a rainout on June 11.
"Either way, we'll be here all day," Ausmus said.
White Sox: Ventura praises Ramirez's defense
Alexei Ramirez has a .983 fielding percentage that ranks third among MLB shortstops with at least 1,000 innings, heading into Saturday. His 101 double plays are a league best, 11 ahead of second place J.J. Hardy of Baltimore.
"It has been incredible," Ventura said of Ramirez's defense. "The fielding statistics tell you a little bit of the story. But just looking at him, all his abilities, all the things he can do, fielding, hands, throwing and acrobatic plays, has been incredible."
Ramirez was an All-Star this season for the first time in his seven-year career. On offense, he entered Saturday with a slash line of .286/.318/.421 with 13 homers, 63 RBIs and 42 extra base hits.
Tigers: Reed joins Tigers
The Tigers on Friday purchased the contract of righty reliever Evan Reed, just over a week after a Wayne County judge dismissed sexual misconduct charges against the 28-year-old.
"I could just take a deep breath and concentrate on getting back to playing for the Tigers," Reed said.
Reed was designated for assignment, then sent to Triple-A Toledo in June, after 27 games with the Tigers -- with whom he made the Opening Day roster for the first time.
• Jose Abreu (.320), Adam Eaton (.312) and Conor Gillaspie (.299) all rank among AL leaders in batting average. The last time three White Sox finished among the top 10 in that category was 1960, with Al Smith (second, .315), Minnie Minoso (third, .311), Roy Sievers (sixth, .295) and Nellie Fox (ninth, .289).
• The Tigers are 7-7 against the White Sox, and 27-24 against the AL Central.
Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.