Scherzer Shuts Down White Sox

White Sox right-hander Hector Noesi gave a simple reason for the Tigers’ four-run surge against him Wednesday during his 5-1 loss at U.S. Cellular Field.

He was tired.

Mostly a reliever since 2012, Noesi was making his first major league start since last May as a replacement for right-hander Erik Johnson, who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte over the weekend because of a rocky start. With two other Sox starters on the disabled list and an off day Thursday, the Sox opted to mix and match their bullpen against Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer.

Noesi made it through three scoreless innings before the Tigers solved him their second time through the order with a four-run fourth inning. The Tigers didn’t need much more offense than that as the Sox fizzled with just one ninth-inning run in the final game of April.

After losing both games in the home series, the Sox dropped to 2-4 against the Tigers this season.

“I got tired,” Noesi said. “I haven’t thrown that much a lot.”

Sox manager Robin Ventura hadn’t expected more than four or five innings from Noesi, and he got 3 2/3.

Noesi retired nine straight batters after allowing a leadoff single to Ian Kinsler. Torii Hunter started the fourth with a double, and the Tigers put together three more hits and a walk as Bryan Holoday’s two-run double ended Noesi’s day.

Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said that aside from a few bad pitches, he was impressed with how Noesi, 27, threw in a difficult situation.

“He just kind of fell behind a couple of guys, made some mistakes in that inning,” Flowers said. “But I definitely like his arm. He’s a very talented pitcher.”

Scherzer allowed only four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over seven six innings. He stranded two Sox runners on base in three of the first four innings.

Sox relievers Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, Maikel Cleto and Daniel Webb provided an opening for a comeback as they limited the Tigers to one unearned run over the final 5 1/3 innings. But the Sox had only one baserunner — Dayan Viciedo with a double — in the fifth through eighth innings.

Viciedo added another double in the ninth and Flowers singled him in to avoid the shutout.

Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez broke the franchise record for hits in April with a single to right field in the fourth inning. His 40 hits to eclipse Paul Konerko’s 39 in 2002. Ramirez said through a team interpreter that Konerko let him know about the record Tuesday and congratulated him in front of the dugout Wednesday.

“It has been one of my best starts,” Ramirez said. “I give credit to the work I’ve done, so it’s a great thing.”

The Sox begin a three-game set against the Indians on Friday before returning to Chicago for the four-game city series with the Cubs that begins Monday at Wrigley Field.

Ventura said he is not worried about his team bouncing back on offense as it moves into a new month.

“You’d like (April) to be better, obviously,” Ventura said. “(But) dealing with injuries and stuff like that, at least we’re still in the mix. Guys, offensively, had a good month.”

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