- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - The first time wasn’t a charm for Frankie Montas, but the Chicago White Sox right-hander had fun all the same.

And managed to throw some impressive pitches, too.

Making his first major league start, Montas allowed six runs on six hits in a 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday at Comerica Park.

“Things didn’t go like I wanted,” Montas said. “But even though I didn’t get the win, I actually enjoyed it.”

Montas gave up a two-run home run to Victor Martinez in the first inning, the 200th of Martinez’s career. J.D. Martinez’s two-run double was the biggest hit of the Tigers’ four-run third.

White Sox catcher Geovany Soto liked what he saw from Montas, though.

“I feel like he has great stuff,” Soto said. “The kid throws very firm. He’s got a great two-seamer, changeup’s a work in progress, but the slider is a good pitch for him.

“He made a few mistakes, but he’s really a promising young man.”

In five previous relief outings for the Sox, Montas had a 1.13 ERA.

Montas’ counterpart, however, was Justin Verlander on one of his better days.

In possibly his most encouraging start of the season, Verlander returned to past, but familiar, territory with his velocity.

“That’s the first time I’ve seen him at 99 (mph) since I’ve been here,” Tigers’ second-year manager Brad Ausmus said.

What’s more, said Verlander, “it felt great. The same effort was producing 94, 95, 96 earlier.”

In his prime, the 32-year-old’s signature style included dialing upper-90s heat in the late innings, and true to his old form, he stepped on the gas in a seventh-inning jam Wednesday. With two outs and the bases loaded, he used five 98-99 mph fastballs to strike out Soto, exiting with a four-run lead.

Verlander allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts in his seven innings.

Melky Cabrera’s 100th career home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, accounted for the first two White Sox runs.

Rajai Davis, who scored three runs, had two singles and a triple for the Tigers.


“It’s sad,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Berra’s passing. “But anyone who starts thinking about him will smile. I was fortunate enough to play a couple of years with the Yankees and he spent a lot of time in the clubhouse. He lit up the room.

“Just a beautiful person all the way around. His numbers are incredible, but his presence and how he dealt with people were really the biggest thing.”


White Sox: Still day-to-day with patella tendinitis in his right knee, 1B Adam LaRoche is “ramping it up and taking batting practice. We’re hoping to get him back in there maybe this weekend,” Ventura said. … 3B Mike Olt, whose third-inning two-out single was Chicago’s first hit off Verlander, left the game with right shoulder discomfort after five innings.


Tigers: Detroit is off Thursday, then opens a series at home against the Twins on Friday. Matt Boyd (1-5, 7.40) will go for the Tigers against Mike Pelfrey (6-10, 4.16).

White Sox: Chicago opens a four-game series at Yankee Stadium, with Chris Sale (12-10, 3.47) facing Michael Pineda (11-8, 4.10).

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