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Gators in MLB: Dunning has positive outing in debut, but one and done

Special to Gatorsports.com
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dane Dunning throws against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning Wednesday in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO — Former UF pitcher Dane Dunning turned in a positive results in his Major League Baseball debut Wednesday night for the Chicago White Sox.

Dunning didn't receive a decision in the outing against Detroit, as his teammates bailed him out in the 5-3 win. Dunning was going up against another SEC standout in Casey Mize.

"August 19th, 2020 a day I will never forget! Thank you to the @whitesox for giving me the opportunity. What an unbelievable experience! GO SOX!! #DaneTime," Dunning wrote on his social media account.

Jose Abreu hit a tie-breaking homer in the eighth inning, then Edwin Encarnacion followed with his second solo shot of the game to lift Chicago over the Detroit Tigers, the White Sox fourth straight win.

Prized right-handers  Mize and Dunning started impressively in their major league debuts before running into trouble and exiting in the fifth inning with nearly identical lines.

Encarnacion hit a long solo shot off Mize in the second. Jeimer Candelario tagged Dunning for a towering three-run drive with one out in the fifth that put Detroit ahead 3-1 and ended 25-year-old’s first outing since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2019.

Mize, the No. 1 pick overall in the 2018 draft, allowed three runs on seven hits, while striking out seven and walking none in 4 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old was replaced by Jose Cisnero after Yoan Moncada’s RBI single tied it at 3.

Dunning also yielded three runs on five hits and struck out seven while walking one through 4 1/3.

“For his first outing in the big leagues, a very, very good outing for him,” manager Rick Renteria said.

Dunning made a good first impression in his major league debut, but the three-run, seven-strikeout, 4 1/3-inning performance wasn't enough to prevent his return to the Schaumburg training facility.

The team was scheduled for two open dates next week, and veteran starters Reynaldo López (inflamed right shoulder) and Carlos Rodón (sore left shoulder) could be in the mix shortly.

“(Dunning) showed very, very well yesterday," manager Rick Renteria said. "We'll have great problems to determine how we move forward."

Neither Mize nor Dunning had pitched above Double-A prior to this season.

Candelario lined Dunning’s first pitch of the game to the wall in right for a double, but the big righty set down the next 11 hitters, fanning six of and striking out the side in the third.

Dunning was nursing a 1-0 lead until Candelario’s towering fly narrowly cleared the wall in right center to make it 3-1.

CUT IT OUT

Dunning said family members had cardboard cutouts of themselves placed among the several hundred in the lower bowl of Guaranteed Rate Field. Dunning said their message was: “Due to Covid we can't be there, but if you look hard enough you’ll see us.”