MLB: Young pitchers square off as Tigers, White Sox close series

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The Detroit Tigers don’t have an imposing lineup and it’s been quite apparent over the past week.

They’ve scored just six runs in the past six games, losing all but one of those outings. They’ll look to get their bats going in the finale of a three-game home series against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Detroit has scored one or no runs in 21 games this season. The Tigers barely avoided a shutout in a 5-1 loss to the White Sox on Saturday.

Facing Drew Thorpe, a rookie making his third career start, they managed just two hits in six innings. The Tigers scored in the eighth against the bullpen to avert a shutout.

“We’re just not stringing some hits together,” said outfielder Matt Vierling, who scored the team’s lone run. “I feel like offensively we’re in a little bit of a lull. Today, (Thorpe) had a good changeup and we had trouble adjusting to that.”

Reese Olson (1-8, 3.39 ERA) will start the series finale for Detroit. Olson gave up 17 earned runs in his first three June starts but deserved a better fate in his most recent outing. He tossed six scoreless innings at Atlanta on Monday, giving up four hits and no walks while recording eight strikeouts. He wound up with a no-decision in a contest the Tigers eventually lost, 2-1.

“I was able to command everything better,” Olson, 24, said. “I got ahead in the count better. It’s just like I’d been saying, it comes down to execution and (I) executed everything better (Monday).”

Manager A.J. Hinch said Olson did a better job of mixing up his pitches.

“Reese can go at lineups with so many combinations of pitches, he doesn’t need to fall in love with any approach,” Hinch said. “When he gets too repetitive with his stuff, he can get into trouble. (Monday), it looked like he was in control of most of the at-bats.”

Olson will be facing Chicago for the first time this season. He started three times against them last season, posting a 1-2 record and 1.93 ERA.

The White Sox will start rookie right-hander Jonathan Cannon (1-1, 3.34 ERA). He notched his first career victory in his most recent outing on Tuesday, holding Houston scoreless through 8 2/3 innings with seven hits allowed. He walked just one and struck out four.

“I’ll definitely never forget this night,” Cannon, 23, said afterward. “Hopefully, the first of many more.”

Catcher Korey Lee said it was just a matter of time before Cannon delivered that type of performance.

“He knows he belongs here,” Lee said. “It’s one of the humps you have to get over when you are in this league. You are meant to be here for a reason. He’s 100 percent meant to be here. I have full confidence in him. He has full confidence in me.”

In his previous start on June 12, Cannon held the Seattle Mariners to one run and four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings but didn’t figure into the decision in the 2-1 loss.

He’ll be making his sixth major league start and first against the Tigers on Sunday.

“Just kind of looking at some of the videos from some of my earlier outings, I like my stuff a lot better where it is right now,” Cannon said.

–Field Level Media

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