Detroit Tigers rookie right-hander Reese Olson lost his most recent start, but he at least left his manager raving.
Olson “can take great pride in how he handled” striking out a career-high 10 batters over 4 1/3 innings in Monday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
Olson will aim to build on that effort Saturday night when the Tigers visit the Chicago White Sox, who have struggled all season.
Detroit evened the season series with Chicago at four games apiece with a 4-2 victory Friday. The clubs are set to meet five more times between Saturday and Sept. 10.
White Sox batters struck out nine times in the series opener, and perhaps Olson can continue that trend.
Olson (2-6, 5.10 ERA) earned his first eight outs by strikeout Monday while scattering one hit, three runs and four walks. Still, he lasted only 4 1/3 innings after throwing 100 pitches.
Olson recorded each of his strikeouts on swings and misses.
“It’s just kind of one of those nights when you have everything working, and I would have liked to have trusted it a little bit more in the [strike] zone and finished at-bats quicker. But it’s good to see, for sure.”
Said Hinch: “He knows he can pitch against any lineup.”
That includes the White Sox. Starting in Chicago on June 2 in his major league debut, Olson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before taking the loss. He allowed two runs and two hits in five innings with one walk and six strikeouts.
Seven of Chicago’s nine hits Friday were singles, with doubles by Eloy Jimenez and Andrew Benintendi marking the only extra-base hits. Andrew Vaughn and Benintendi had two hits each.
Seven White Sox starters collected at least one hit, including Yoan Moncada, who hopes to build consistency at the plate down the stretch after contending with back issues and other injuries throughout the season.
With that, he’ll look to make further tweaks in the offseason.
“Honestly,” he said, “I just need to find a different way to do things in my preparation. That’s something I have to figure out during the offseason. Try to do new things that can help me to stay healthy.”
Detroit (61-74) has won two straight games for the first time since Aug. 19-20. The White Sox (53-82) are assured of a losing season after falling for the third time in four games.
Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson enters Saturday’s game with 999 career hits.
Right-hander Mike Clevinger will get the call for the White Sox. Clevinger, who cleared waivers after the club placed him there this week, opposed Olson on June 2. He took a no-decision, scattering three hits, one walk and six strikeouts in five shutout innings.
Clevinger (6-6, 3.32 ERA) defeated the Oakland Athletics on Sunday behind seven innings of one-run ball with two walks and a season-high 10 strikeouts. He has been dominant against Detroit in his career, going 8-2 with a 1.63 ERA in 14 appearances, including 13 starts.
–Field Level Media