DETROIT -- Jeff Samardzija snapped a series of poor outings with his best start of the season, tossing a shutout and allowing only one baserunner as the White Sox won the first game of a split doubleheader, 2-0, over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Monday afternoon.
The right-hander, who had pitched to a 9.24 ERA over his previous nine starts, took a perfect game into the fifth inning to begin his seventh career complete game and third career shutout. He struck out six and needed just 88 pitches to dispatch the Tigers.
"I don't carry over starts into the next start. I'm a professional and I go out there and do my job regardless of what happened the last time," Samardzija said. "This is a tough sport. Even when you're at your best, it can get you. You always have to be even keel and understand what your role is out there and understand you've got eight guys out there working, too."
Detroit's only baserunner was Victor Martinez, who led off the fifth with a soft line drive into shallow left field. No Tigers batter worked a three-ball count against Samardzija.
Samardzija's second career "Maddux" -- a shutout in fewer than 100 pitches -- spoiled a solid outing from Detroit's Kyle Ryan, who was making his first Major League start since July 7. The left-hander lasted seven innings to provide some reprieve to the club's taxed bullpen, but he allowed a run-scoring single to Adam Eaton in the third and a solo home run to Carlos Sanchez in the sixth to take the loss.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED No no-no: Samardzija was stellar through the first four innings, but Martinez put the righty's pursuit of perfection to rest in the fifth. Detroit's first baseman fought off a 95-mph fastball, muscling it into shallow left field for his club's first baserunner of the afternoon. He was retired moments later on a fielder's choice.
"I didn't think [our batters] lacked intensity or focus," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Samardzija was just better." More >
Slugging Sanchez: The second baseman's double with two outs in the third stood as the game's first baserunner. He then scored with a great diving effort at home plate on Adam Eaton's single to right. Sanchez homered in the sixth, giving him 23 doubles and five homers. Four of those homers have come as a left-handed hitter.
"I always work hard on both sides of the plate, but, of course, during the season you're facing more righties and you're getting more at-bats on the left side," said Sanchez through interpreter and White Sox Spanish-language broadcaster Billy Russo. "But, yes, I have been feeling very good hitting on the right side."
Bat and glove: Eaton drove in the game's first run and finished with two hits. But he also made a slick running catch against the right-center-field wall on J.D. Martinez's blast to right with one out in the seventh.
Sterling Marte: The Tigers didn't have many offensive highlights Monday afternoon, but third baseman Jefry Marte provided a few with his glove. The rookie robbed catcher Geovany Soto of a double with a diving stop in the third inning, started double plays in the fourth and seventh, and recovered for a fielder's choice on a sharp grounder in the eighth.
"Marte made three excellent plays, really," Ausmus said. "Two of them for double plays." More >
"Victor's an amazing hitter. Just to let him have only one hit in a day is an accomplishment by itself, so we'll take it." -- Samardzija, on his bid for perfection
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Tigers were one-hit for the second time this season, both at Comerica Park. Orioles starter Chris Tillman and reliever Zach Britton combined for the feat July 18.
The umpires went to the monitor in the third inning, when Sanchez was called out at home plate after trying to score from second on an Eaton single to right. Home-plate umpire Mark Carlson's ruling was overturned after a two-minute, 40-second review, giving Chicago its first run and denying Tigers right fielder Steven Moya his third outfield assist.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox:Erik Johnson (2-0, 3.71 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season since being called up from Triple-A Charlotte in the night portion of Monday's doubleheader at 6:08 p.m. CT. Johnson has yielded five home runs, walked eight and struck out 12 over 17 innings pitched since rejoining the White Sox.
Tigers: Left-hander Randy Wolf (0-3, 6.48 ERA) starts the night game of the doubleheader at 7:08 ET. Coincidentally, the veteran's last start was also the second contest of a twin bill. Detroit has won Wolf's last two outings, though the lefty is still searching for his first Major League win since June 2, 2014.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.