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Chicago White Sox gain 1st win of 2024 behind 7 strong innings by Garrett Crochet


Manager Pedro Grifol noticed a transformation from Garrett Crochet throughout Tuesday’s outing.

“He went from a high-velocity guy to a pitcher in the same game, which was really, really good to see,” Grifol said.

Crochet had a phenomenal encore performance, allowing one run in seven innings in his second major-league start to lead the Chicago White Sox to their first win of 2024 — a 3-2 victory against the Atlanta Braves in front of 12,300 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

He surrendered three hits in the outing, the first coming in the fifth inning, while striking out eight and walking one for his first win as a starter.

“Since I got to college, that’s maybe the third time I’ve ever got to the seventh (inning), so that was huge for me,” Crochet said. “Just nice to get back there because it was a little unfamiliar territory. To get there this early on, especially when we needed to win, that’s awesome.”

Crochet thought one of the keys Tuesday was establishing his fastball early.

“I feel like I was throwing everything for strikes, too,” he said. “I feel like when I’m throwing the way I was today, you can really point to anything.”

Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Garrett Crochet (45) pitches during a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. (Vincent Alban/Chicago Tribune)
Chicago White Sox’s Garrett Crochet pitches during a game against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at Guaranteed Rate Field. (Vincent Alban/Chicago Tribune)

Everything has been working so far for Crochet.

A first-round pick in 2020, his first 72 major-league appearances were as a reliever. He made his first career start on opening day against the Detroit Tigers, allowing one run on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in six innings in the 1-0 loss.

He threw a career-high 93 pitches Tuesday.

“At first he came out just throwing the heck out of it, high velocity,” Grifol said of Tuesday’s adjustments. “He settled in and just mixed his pitches. And he was pounding the strike zone.

“His last outing he said he could have gone out for the seventh, I didn’t want him to. It was his first outing as a starter. This one, you know what, he wanted it. He was in a good spot, so go get it.”

Crochet didn’t surrender a hit until a one-out single to center by Adam Duvall in the fifth.

Photos: Chicago White Sox 3, Atlanta Braves 2

His 16 strikeouts over his first two career starts are the most by a Sox pitcher, surpassing Hector Santiago in 2012 and Dane Dunning in 2020 (both 14).

“When I’m competing in the zone and having good results, I suppose it does boost the confidence,” Crochet said. “But just being all around the plate and feedback from (catcher Martín Maldonado) has been really good.”

Crochet surrendered a solo home run to Marcell Ozuna in the seventh that tied the game at 1. Paul DeJong broke the tie, and put Crochet in position for the win, with a pinch-hit home run to left field leading off the seventh.

“Thankfully I was able to stay a little warm down in the tunnel and in the cage just watching the game, supporting my guys,” DeJong said. “I was thankful to get that opportunity tonight.”

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