Detroit Tigers rookie right fielder Daz Cameron collected the first hit of his major league career against the host Chicago White Sox on Friday night in the same ballpark his father, Mike, called home for the first four of his 17 big league seasons.
The first hit of Mike Cameron’s career also came in Chicago — at the Tigers’ expense, interestingly enough — 25 seasons ago.
“For him to have his first hit and for me to get my first hit here is kind of surreal,” Daz Cameron said. “It’s something I’ll remember forever.”
As the Tigers (20-25) continue to fade in the American League postseason race, such milestones for their developing core of youngsters have taken on greater importance. Detroit enters Sunday’s series finale against the Chicago White Sox with nine losses in its last 12 games but remains two games out of the final AL playoff spot with 15 games to play.
The Tigers lost Saturday’s game against Chicago 14-0. On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Brewers sent the Tigers to a 19-0 home loss.
Cameron was 0-for-3 with a strikeout Saturday. Although he is batting just .063 in his first 16 at-bats, Tigers brass has been pleased with Cameron’s effort and energy.
“This kid can play. He’s standing up there and handling these pitchers up there,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He looks good at the plate, can play some defense. He’s already proved that before, but he’s doing (it) at the major league level. This is fun.”
Chicago (29-16) has shared that sentiment when facing Detroit this season. The American League Central-leading White Sox are 8-1 against the Tigers thanks in large part due to leadoff hitter Tim Anderson, who is batting .514 (18-for-35) against Detroit with five home runs and nine RBIs.
Saturday marked Anderson’s third four-hit game against the Tigers this season. His example at the top of the lineup — whether facing Detroit or other foes — has trickled down during the stretch run.
The White Sox have outscored the opposition 159-77 while winning 19 of their past 24 games. Chicago’s run differential of plus-74 is tops in the AL.
“We are fortunate in that we have a group of young, talented players who, thankfully, we can see one or the other shine on any given day,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “You are starting to see the talent perform, to execute.”
Right-hander Jonathan Stiever is set to start for Chicago in his major league debut. A fifth-round pick of the White Sox in 2018, Stiever is 10-11 with a 3.59 ERA in 39 minor league starts, with 193 strikeouts in 173 innings. He has not pitched above Advanced Class-A.
Righty Spencer Turnbull (4-2, 3.32 ERA) is slated to make his second start of the season against Chicago. He lost to the White Sox on Aug. 20 after allowing three runs and two hits in two innings. Turnbull is 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in three career starts against Chicago with 14 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.
Turnbull tossed six scoreless innings against the Brewers on Tuesday in his most recent start.
–Field Level Media