Chicago White Sox offseason additions Michael Soroka and Braden Shewmake on display in 7-6 loss in 10 innings

Chicago White Sox offseason additions Michael Soroka and Braden Shewmake on display in 7-6 loss in 10 innings

The first major move of the offseason for the Chicago White Sox came late in the evening on Nov. 16.

The Sox sent reliever Aaron Bummer to the Atlanta Braves for five players — including starter Michael Soroka and infielder Braden Shewmake.

The pair made their Sox debuts Saturday in a 7-6, 10-inning loss to the Detroit Tigers in front of 28,176 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Soroka settled in after a rough beginning, allowing four runs on seven hits with no strikeouts and three walks in five innings. Shewmake homered on the first pitch he saw in the second — the first hit of his big-league career.

There was also a major contribution from a very familiar source for the Sox: Luis Robert Jr. hit two two-run home runs. But it wasn’t enough as the Tigers scored twice in the seventh to tie the game at 6 and grabbed the lead for good in the 10th on an RBI single from Carson Kelly.

“It wasn’t really until the fourth or fifth inning, until I felt like I was hitting my stride a little bit,” Soroka said. “Those three (runs) in the first were on the board, and in a game where Luis has a day like today, it needs to be a win in my opinion. That’s on me.

“Glad I kept going and gave us five and kept us in there, but I need to find it a little earlier.”

It was all Tigers early as Soroka had a rocky first inning.

He had hoped to carry over his success from the spring, when he earned the No. 2 slot in the rotation after posting a 1.38 ERA in four Cactus League starts. He became a force in the Braves rotation in 2019, finishing sixth in the National League Cy Young Award voting.

Photos: Detroit Tigers 7, Chicago White Sox 6 (10)

Soroka made three starts in 2020 before suffering a torn right Achilles tendon on Aug. 3, 2020. He retore it in June 2021. He did not return to a big-league mound until last season, when he made seven appearances (six starts).

His first start of 2024 began by surrendering a leadoff triple to Parker Meadows and an RBI single to Spencer Torkelson. Mark Canha drove in two more with a single, putting the Sox in a 3-0 hole.

“Probably a little overexcited, had a good spring and tried to do a little too much,” Soroka said. “Sometimes less is more, and that was one of those scenarios. Obviously, sometimes baseball happens and a leadoff broken-bat triple (by Meadows), it’s kind of one of those ones where I need to settle in a little earlier and let it go and try not to do too much.”

Robert got the Sox back in the game with a mammoth 449-foot two-run home run in the first against Kenta Maeda, his first of the season. It had an exit velocity of 111.9 mph.

Shewmake tied the game an inning later, swinging at the first pitch and hitting it over the right-field fence. Shewmake, who went 0-for-4 in two games with the Braves in 2023, received a big hug from designated hitter Eloy Jiménez when he returned to the dugout.

“(Manager) Pedro (Grifol) has harped on it: know who you are and be who you are,” Shewmake said. “I’m not a home run hitter. That wasn’t really my intent there, but put a good swing on a pitch you can handle and good things tend to happen.

“It’s hard to put into words but at the end of the day I really wasn’t as much thinking about the home run being the first hit as I was thinking about it’s a tie game.”

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Robert broke that tie an inning later, following a Yoán Moncada triple with another two-run home run.

“What you guys saw today was part of the results of all the work I put in during the offseason,” Robert said through an interpreter. “Hopefully you guys can see that on a consistent basis this year.”

Shewmake showed the instincts that helped him break camp with the team in the fourth, taking off for home when Nicky Lopez was thrown out while trying to steal second and scoring ahead of the throw back to the plate.

“I saw the ball leave the catcher’s hand and knew we had a shot to go and took off,” Shewmake said.

The sequence gave the Sox a 6-3 lead. But the Tigers chipped away with a solo home run in the fifth from Canha off Soroka and two runs in the seventh off reliever Dominic Leone to tie the game.

The Tigers went ahead in the 10th with Kelly’s one-out RBI single to center against Deivi García. The Sox began the season 0-2 for the first time since 2019.

“It’s been two games, but these are two games we could win and we have to find ways to do that,” Grifol said. “And we will.”