Rodriguez went 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and six hits. The left-hander struck out seven and walked two while improving to 4-0 in 10 starts against Chicago, keeping them off balance with his changeup even though he didn’t necessarily have his best stuff.
“He’s trying to mix and match against these guys,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “When you start pitching in the division, you have a little bit of a history against guys. He wasn’t just gonna challenge him with fastballs.”
Beau Brieske retired pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal on a fly to shallow left with runners on the corners to end the seventh before giving up a sacrifice fly to Luis Robert Jr. in the eighth, cutting it to 4-2.
Will Vest got the final two outs of that inning, and Alex Lange worked the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.
Riley Greene hit a two-run single in the fifth to give Detroit a 2-1 lead. The left fielder also made a terrific catch in the bottom half when he raced to the gap and lunged to snag Tim Anderson’s liner.
“Soon as the ball went up there, I was like, ‘Ah, no chance he’s gonna make the play,’” Rodriguez said. “He surprised me when he dived for it and made the play. That was something special to see.”
The Tigers added another run while chasing White Sox starter Touki Toussaint (2-7) in the sixth .
Jake Rogers had three hits, scored a run and drove in one.
Toussaint allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and retired 11 in a row before Parker Meadows and Rogers singled to start the fifth. Both runners scored with two out when Greene bounced a two-run single past diving second baseman Lenyn Sosa, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead.
Toussaint exited with runners on first and third in the sixth.
Sammy Peralta retired Meadows on a pop fly to Sosa in shallow right field. But a wild throw to the infield allowed Spencer Torkelson to score from third, making it 3-1. Cabrera got thrown out at the plate by left fielder Andrew Benintendi trying to score on a single by Zack Short.
White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said he wasn’t surprised when Getz announced Thursday the skipper would be back for a second season. Grifol said he had already been informed.
That might not sit well with frustrated fans. The White Sox were 53-81 entering Friday’s game.
“I do my job every single day,” Grifol said. “I’m not in the business of having to evaluate myself. I’m in the business of making sure that I cross-check myself, continue to get better every single day. Evaluation of me as a big league manager comes from above me. I don’t make those decisions.”
The White Sox recalled INF José Rodríguez from Double-A Birmingham and RHP Luis Patiño from Triple-A Charlotte.
The Tigers designated LHP Bennett Sousa for assignment.
Tigers: Greene jammed his elbow on the diving catch and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh as a precaution. Hinch said “things are pointing in a positive direction,” though he probably won’t be in the lineup on Saturday.
White Sox: Grifol said he expects LHP Garrett Crochet (shoulder soreness) to pitch again this season. “I’m not sure where, but he’s still in the rehab process, he’s feeling pretty good,” Grifol said. Crochet has been sidelined since June 15.
The series continues with the White Sox sending RHP Mike Clevinger (6-6, 3.32 ERA) to the mound and the Tigers going with RHP Reese Olson (2-6, 5.10).