Hendriks wins on National Cancer Survivors Day

Hendriks wins on National Cancer Survivors Day

CHICAGO — Jake Burger‘s game-ending grand slam handed Liam Hendriks his first win since returning from cancer, and the Chicago White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 6-2 on Sunday for a three-game series sweep.

Hendriks (1-0) worked a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two. It was the third big league appearance for the All-Star closer since he missed the start of the season after he was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Hendriks’ win coincided with National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States.

“Hopefully, I can continue moving forward and continue somewhat of at least doing the right thing on the field, and give people some hope to continue fighting,” Hendriks said.

On Monday, an emotional Hendriks, 34, allowed two runs on three hits and a walk to the Los Angeles Angels, his first outing since recovering from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Telling reporters afterward, that “it was humbling going out there,” he now has three innings of work under his belt.

Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson walked with one out to load the bases for Burger, who hit a drive to left-center off Alex Lange (3-1) for his 12th homer of the season. It was his first career slam and game-ending homer.

“We’d faced (Lange) a couple times and he’s a great pitcher,” Burger said. “Today, we got the better of him, but he’s gotten the better of us in the last couple of outings. That’s baseball.”

Spencer Torkelson hit a two-run homer for Detroit, which has dropped five of six. Matthew Boyd struck out nine while pitching five innings of one-run ball.

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Lange had been on “such a good roll,” but was a “little erratic” in the ninth.

“(The grand slam) makes it sting even more when you can’t finish the game,” Hinch said. “Frustrating day.”

It was the first homer allowed by Lange in 25 appearances this year.

“It sucks,” Lange said. “You hate blowing it for the boys. They fought hard all day. … It’s tough, but you move on.”

White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech permitted two runs and three hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and walked one.

Torkelson’s fifth homer gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the fourth, but Eloy Jiménez responded with an RBI single for the White Sox in the bottom half.

Chicago tied it at 2 on Yasmani Grandal‘s bases-loaded single with two out in the sixth. Detroit reliever Will Vest surrendered back-to-back singles to Luis Robert Jr. and Jiménez before walking Andrew Vaughn to load the bases for Grandal.

Robert caught Javier Baez‘s drive at the center-field wall in the eighth, stranding Zach McKinstry at second. Detroit’s Jake Marisnick returned the favor in the bottom of the eighth, snagging a fly ball from Vaughn at the wall.

The White Sox will open a series against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, when right-hander Lucas Giolito (4-4, 4.08 ERA) will take the mound.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.