'Good from the start': Chicago White Sox starter Johnny Cueto dominates Detroit Tigers in 8-0 win

Fans rose to their feet and cheered as Johnny Cueto walked to the dugout after retiring Tucker Barnhart with a fly ball to left to end the eighth inning.

It was another day, another impressive performance for the veteran Chicago White Sox right-hander.

Cueto allowed five hits and struck out five in eight innings, leading the Red Sox to an 8-0 win over the Detroit Tigers in front of 29,215 on Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“I felt good from the beginning and I felt a lot of energy,” Cueto said through an interpreter.

Cueto, 36, pitched at least eight scoreless innings for the 17th time in his career and for the first time since shutting out the San Diego Padres on May 23, 2016, while playing with the San Francisco Giants.

“He can go through the lineup and if I had six at-bats against him, he would show you something different every at-bat,” Red Sox manager Tony La Russa said. He is very intelligent. He’s one of those pitchers who can watch the hitter and get the sense that the guy is sitting or looking away or looking hard or soft just because of how they look and the way they hit things.

“Talented, great command, great arsenal and he’s smart.”

Cueto has pitched at least six innings in nine of his 10 starts since joining the Sox in May.

“He picked us up when we needed him,” La Russa said.

Cueto (3-4) hasn’t gotten much running support this season, but he had a lot to work with on Saturday.

“It’s important when you get that kind of support to run,” Cueto said. “For me that was a boost. Then I told myself that I had to keep performing and keep the ball low.”

Gavin Sheets sparked the offense, hitting a three-run homer in the first. He got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and jumped at the chance.

“I knew (Tigers starter Garrett Hill) wanted to come to me, he didn’t want to load the bases for (Yoán) Moncada,” Sheets said. “In that situation, I’m just trying to put in my best swing and see what happens.”

The home run came with two outs. The Sox had more opportune hitting in the second, scoring three more runs with two outs.

“That’s something we did really well last year and it’s something we do as a team,” Sheets said. “So seeing that (on Saturday) was a good sign.”

One day after being voted starter for the All-Star Game, shortstop Tim Anderson started a two-out rally in the second with a double. He scored on a single by Luis Robert. José Abreu drove in two with a double, extending his hitting streak to 14. It’s the seventh hitting streak of at least 14 games in Abreu’s career.

According to Elias, he is one of only four Sox players to record at least seven hitting streaks of more than 14 games in franchise history, joining Hall of Famers Nellie Fox (nine), Luke Appling ( eight) and Eddie Collins (eight).

After Abreu’s double, the Sox didn’t get another hit until the sixth when Seby Zavala led off with a double off reliever Will Vest. Anderson drove in Zavala with a single. Leury Garcia scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

It was the fourth time the Sox had scored at least five runs in one of Cueto’s starts. And the first of them, on May 16 in Kansas City, reached five in extra innings.

Cueto has found a way to keep the Sox in games.

“He gets to his spots,” said Zavala, the Red Sox catcher. “Mix everything well. When you want to enter, you lose. When he wants to go out, he gets lost. He can throw anything in any situation, whatever he needs to.”

Cueto’s eight innings marked the longest start this season for the Sox. He lowered his ERA from 3.30 to 2.91 and ended the Tigers’ winning streak at six.

“He’s a pitching artist,” La Russa said. “That offense is going well. The dish rarely fails. I only have the edges. Gear shift. The moment you slow down your bat, he throws it for you. You speed him up and he takes you out in front.”

Cueto was already looking forward to going back to work.

“Thank God I’ve been feeling healthy,” Cueto said. “I just hope I continue to feel that way and continue to help the team.

“I just trust my routine. I just like to work hard. After a start like (Saturday), tomorrow I’m going to be working as hard as I’ve been all along, doing my steps, doing some steps and just running.”

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