Tony La Russa will try to tie John McGraw for second place in all-time managerial wins when the Chicago White Sox host the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
La Russa collected his 2,762nd win Thursday as the White Sox pulled away for a 4-1 victory in the series opener against Detroit. The 76-year-old skipper’s next win will match McGraw, who won 2,763 games during a Hall of Fame career that spanned from 1899 to 1932.
The winningest manager is another Hall of Famer, Connie Mack, who notched 3,731 wins.
La Russa’s history is a big part of why the White Sox wanted him for the present and future.
“As everyone in baseball is well aware, I have always respected Tony and am proud to have maintained a great friendship with him over the decades in the game,” White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said when the franchise hired La Russa. “But his hiring is not based on friendship or on what happened years ago, but on the fact that we have the opportunity to have one of the greatest managers in the game’s history in our dugout at a time when we believe our team is poised for great accomplishments.”
Two months into the season, the White Sox certainly look capable of greatness.
Entering Friday, Chicago sits in first place in the American League Central division and owns the best home record in the league at 21-9. The White Sox have a plus-82 run differential on the season, which also is the best mark in the AL.
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-1, 4.53 ERA) will look to maintain Chicago’s success when he makes his 12th start. The 33-year-old is 10-3 since joining the White Sox in 2020 and is looking for his 95th career victory after also spending seven years with the Houston Astros and one with the Atlanta Braves.
Keuchel is coming off a strong May in which he went 3-0. But in his last outing, he gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings against the Baltimore Orioles. The eight hits matched his season high.
The Tigers will counter with right-hander Spencer Turnbull (4-2, 2.93), who is scheduled to make his ninth start of the season. Turnbull already has matched his career high in victories.
The 28-year-old Alabama Crimson Tide product fired a no-hitter May 18 against the Seattle Mariners. Over his past four starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA while walking seven and fanning 25 in 27 innings.
In four career starts against the White Sox, Turnbull is 0-3 with a 7.63 ERA. He has given up 14 runs (13 earned) on 15 hits in 15 1/3 innings.
Turnbull’s teammates on the Tigers have praised his steady approach. It proved helpful again in his most recent outing, when he held on for a victory over the New York Yankees after a rocky start to the game.
“He’s a great pitcher,” Willi Castro said. “He knows what he’s doing up there and he’s just great.
“(Against Seattle), he threw a no-hitter. He’s a guy that’s always going to help the team a lot to win. It’s just great to have him there on the mound.”
–Field Level Media