CHICAGO -- Detroit's 5-2 victory over the White Sox Sunday afternoon also marked the season debut for Zach Stewart, who threw one perfect inning of relief and struck out one. The 25-year-old right-hander functions as the White Sox version of the Maytag repair man in that a middle reliever doesn't get too many calls with a starting staff consistently working deep in games.
So Stewart stays as prepared as possible for when his time comes.
"I'm just trying to stay with the things I've always done," said Stewart, who started eight of the 10 games he appeared in last year for the White Sox. "Make sure I'm throwing the ball well to both sides of the plate.
"I've been throwing sides every other day or so -- just whatever I've got to do to stay sharp. And my main focus is always my two-seamer, just trying to keep guys off-balance. I've also been talking with [White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] and [White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves] for their opinions on how I should stay prepared and being ready when I get my opportunities."
Stewart quipped that if the White Sox have a lead and the game hits the seventh, he knows there's a pretty good chance inactivity is ahead of him on that night.
"At the same time, you never know," said Stewart, who gave up six runs and five unearned runs the 10th inning of Monday's 10-4 loss to the Orioles, in a game where the White Sox had a two-run lead in the ninth. "Baseball is a crazy game and you have to stay prepared. Our starting staff has been great and it's one of those things where they are just making it where I don't have anything to do. That's fine with me as long as we are winning."