Verlander fans 10 as Tigers beat White Sox 6-3 in opener
CHICAGO— Justin Verlander struck out 10 to match the most by a Detroit pitcher on opening day since Mickey Lolich in 1970, and the Tigers backed him with three home runs in a 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.
JaCoby Jones hit his first career homer, Nick Castellanos and Ian Kinsler also went deep against Jose Quintana (0-1), and the Tigers sent Rick Renteria to a loss in his debut as White Sox manager.
A day after the teams were rained out, Jones’ three-run homer and Castellanos’ two-run drive in a five-run second lifted Detroit into a 5-1 lead. Kinsler added a solo shot in the fourth.
Verlander (1-0), the AL Cy Young Award runner-up last season, gave up two runs and six hits while walking two in 6 1/3 innings. Francisco Rodriguez relieved with two on in the ninth and retired three straight batters for the save. He gave up an RBI groundout to Jacob May before catcher James McCann leaned over the railing in front of the Tigers dugout to snag Tyler Saladino’s foul for the final out.
Quintana, a first-time All-Star in 2016 and a candidate to be traded, allowed six runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. The three homers he gave up matched a career high.
Melky Cabrera had two doubles, drove in a run and scored. Saladino had two hits, but it was a familiar result for a White Sox team taking a different approach after four straight losing seasons.
Chicago traded ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton while acquiring young players. The White Sox also promoted Renteria from bench coach to replace Robin Ventura, hoping to jolt a franchise with one playoff appearance since winning the 2005 World Series title.
Cabrera’s RBI double gave the White Sox the lead in the first.
Jones, who played in 13 games last season, pulled a low curve to the left-field bullpen for his home run, raising his right index finger as he rounded the bases. Castellanos sent a 3-2 fastball the opposite way to the right-field bullpen with two outs.