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Tigers open 4-game set against nemesis Dylan Cease, White Sox

Sportsnaut
Jul 6, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart (15) hits an RBI single during the second inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

If the past is any indication, having Dylan Cease on the mound for a matchup against the Detroit Tigers is good news for the Chicago White Sox.

With Cease looking to continue his dominance over Detroit, the White Sox will aim for a sixth consecutive head-to-head victory over the visiting Tigers on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.

Detroit will be looking for a season-high fifth straight win.

Chicago, after salvaging the finale of a three-game series against the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, should take even more confidence into the set with Detroit. The White Sox have outscored the Tigers 42-9 while winning five straight in the season series since blowing a late lead for a 5-4 loss at Detroit on Opening Day.

Cease (7-3, 2.51 ERA) is 10-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 career starts vs. Detroit. He allowed two runs (one earned) over 10 innings to win both of his 2022 outings against the Tigers.

“It’s obviously great,” Cease said of his success against Detroit. “I try not to put too much stock (in it) because I don’t want to jinx myself. It’s something cool and something special, but there’s still more work to be done.”

Cease is looking to win a third consecutive start after grinding out five innings of one-run ball at San Francisco on Saturday. The right-hander has yielded 12 runs, but only two earned, in 39 1/3 innings over his past seven outings. However, the Tigers’ Harold Castro is 12-for-26 with four extra-base hits vs. Cease, and Victor Reyes 5-for-13 against him.

On the other hand, Javier Baez is 2-for-10 with a homer when facing Cease. The ex-Cub, batting a dismal .211 during his first season in Detroit and just 3-for-22 this month, is slated play in Chicago for the first time since the White Sox’s crosstown rivals traded him to the New York Mets nearly a year ago.

Baez went 4-for-9 in his first two games against the White Sox this season, and he hit a walk-off single in the season-opening victory. However, he is 0-for-11 in his past three games vs. Chicago.

Miguel Cabrera is just 3-for-15 with six strikeouts vs. Cease. However, Cabrera is enjoying a strong season at age 39, as he enters Thursday hitting .308 on the season, riding a 13-game hitting streak and batting .366 with 11 RBIs over his past 19 games.

Cabrera had six hits during Detroit’s four-game home sweep of the Cleveland Guardians this week.

Winners of eight of 12 overall, the Tigers are batting .290 with seven home runs while prevailing in five of their past six.

“It feels great,” rookie infielder Kody Clemens, who homered in the Tigers’ 8-2 win over the Guardians on Wednesday, told Bally Sports Detroit. “We’re grinding every day. Putting the work in, and it’s starting to show up.”

Fellow Tigers rookie Beau Brieske (1-6, 4.54 ERA) has endured some ups and downs during the first 13 starts of his career this season. Thursday’s scheduled starter is 0-5 with a 6.09 ERA in seven road outings. He yielded two first-inning runs against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, then one over the next five frames as Detroit rallied for a 4-3 home win.

He will get his first look at Chicago slugger Eloy Jimenez, who is batting .315 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs in 36 career games against the Tigers. Back from a hamstring injury that kept him out since April 23, Jimenez had a two-run homer and an RBI single in the White Sox’s 9-8 win over the Twins on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media