DETROIT — The Chicago White Sox scored three runs in the first inning and never relinquished their lead, battering 17 hits in a 12-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night at Comerica Park.
The Tigers (23-26) took a step back in their quest for the .500 mark. They have two more against the Sox (22-31) this weekend.
Tigers starting pitcher Joey Wentz dealt with bad luck and shaky defense, but also a couple of self-inflicted wounds. He walked just two batters in four innings, but both scored. He ended up giving up five runs on six hits, taking his ERA up to 7.80. In his last five starts, he’s given up 21 earned runs on 34 hits in 20 1/3 innings (9.30 ERA).
The bullpen didn’t fare much better. Right-hander Mason Englert and left-hander Tyler Alexander, hypothetical candidates to step into the rotation if the Tigers opted to replace Wentz, both gave up three runs on four hits in two innings of work. Infielder Zack Short pitched the ninth, allowing a run on three hits.
The Tigers went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and squandered a handful of early mental and physical errors by the White Sox defense.
Sox starter Lance Lynn walked five batters but allowed just three runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings.
Tigers lead-off man Zach McKinstry reached base four times on three walks and a single.
Off day: Tigers bench coach outfielder George Lombard served as acting manager on Friday while A.J. Hinch attended his daughter’s high school graduation in Houston. Hinch will be back in the dugout tomorrow.
Up next: The Tigers and White Sox meet again on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. Right-hander Michael Lorenzen (2-2, 4.08 ERA) will start for Detroit. The White Sox have not yet announced a starter.