Chicago White Sox swept by Detroit Tigers as Erick Fedde returns to the majors — and Eloy Jiménez leaves with injury

Chicago White Sox swept by Detroit Tigers as Erick Fedde returns to the majors — and Eloy Jiménez leaves with injury

Erick Fedde saw Sunday, in a sense, as a moment of relief.

The right-hander went to the Korea Baseball Organization last season intending to make his way back to the major leagues.

He excelled, earning MVP honors with the NC Dinos. That led to a two-year contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Fedde returned to a big-league mound for a regular-season game in Sunday’s series finale against the Detroit Tigers.

“I was glad to be back,” Fedde said, “And there was a lot of adrenaline and excitement for this start.”

Fedde allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in 4 2/3 innings. He did not factor in the decision as the Sox lost another one-run game, falling 3-2 in front of 17,478 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Tigers swept the Sox in the three-game series, winning each game by one run.

“These are heartbreakers,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “Three one-run games. Could have gone our way. Didn’t go our way.”

Photos: Detroit Tigers 3, Chicago White Sox 2

The Sox had to complete the game without slugger Eloy Jiménez as the designated hitter exited with left adductor soreness. He displayed discomfort running to first base while grounding out to third in the sixth inning, his final at-bat of the day.

“We’ll see tomorrow how he wakes up,” Grifol said. “They’re going to do some testing on it. We’re not sure until tomorrow.”

While the Sox await word on Jiménez, they’ll also be shaking off another game in which the Tigers got the timely hit. Andy Ibáñez drove in the go-ahead run with a pinch-hit RBI single to left field with two outs in the top of the ninth against Tim Hill, who had just replaced Steven Wilson.

Chicago White Sox in a ‘holding pattern’ on Eloy Jiménez as they await results on injured DH

“We fell behind (2-0 in the count) and (Ibáñez) did what he was supposed to do,” Grifol said.

The Sox used five relievers Sunday after Fedde exited, having thrown 96 pitches.

“I think a lot of the time I was going from 1-2 counts to 3-2 which is what got me out of the game early, which is something I’m frustrated with and I want to go deeper for the boys,” Fedde said. “Just wasn’t really landing my off-speed when I was ahead in the count. Just one of those things when you’re trying too hard to get a strikeout when contact might be better.

“I’ve got to do better about landing my sweeper and getting quicker outs.”

Fedde’s last appearance in a major-league game was Oct. 5, 2022.

His road to Sunday included spending six seasons with the Washington Nationals, where he appeared in 102 games (88 starts) from 2017-22.

Fedde then went to the KBO, where his standout numbers included a 20-6 record and a 2.00 ERA in 30 starts. He had 209 strikeouts and just 35 walks in 180 1/3 innings.

In addition to the MVP honor, Fedde won the Choi Dong-won Award, recognizing the KBO’s best pitcher.

Fedde allowed only nine home runs and had a 0.95 WHIP last season.

The two runs he allowed Sunday came via solo home runs by Kerry Carpenter in the fourth and Jake Rogers in the fifth.

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“When you’re coming off a year where you throw 180 innings and you won MVP and all kinds of accolades over there, you’re always going to feel like you can go more,” Grifol said. “I’m happy that he feels that way. The mindset I want from our starters is to come in here and start the game and want to close the game. That’s the mindset you’ve got to have if you’re going to be a really elite starter, and he’s got that mindset.

“He worked hard, he had (96) pitches. On the way out, he said, ‘I wish I could get those two pitches back,’ and my answer to him is ‘You pitched a hell of a ballgame. Let’s build from here and keep going.'”

Catcher Korey Lee and shortstop Paul DeJong hit solo home runs Sunday. The Sox hit five home runs in the series, but are 0-3 to start a season for the first time since 2015 when they were swept at Kansas City.

They were blanked 1-0 in Thursday’s season opener and dropped Saturday’s game 7-6 in 10 innings. It’s the first time the Sox have lost each of the first three games of the season by one run since 1972 at Kansas City.

“Good pitching, good defense,” Grifol said. “Three one-run games that we’ve got to find a way to win.”