If Rick Porcello is to record an AL-leading 16th win, he likely must pitch better than his last effort on Chicago's South Side.
Hoping to do that, Porcello looks to win his third straight start for the Detroit Tigers on Sunday against the White Sox, who dealt slugger Adam Dunn to Oakland hours before the game.
Porcello (15-8, 3.06 ERA) has allowed two solo homers and 10 other hits in 17 innings while going 2-0 since giving up six runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 7-2 loss to Seattle on Aug. 15. He yielded both homers in eight innings of a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday to set a career high for victories.
"I want to keep getting better," Porcello, who hasn't walked a batter in 23 innings over three starts, told MLB's official website. "I don't think I've been as good as I could get.
"I want to continue to do well and obviously, most importantly, help this team to the playoffs."
By splitting Saturday's day-night doubleheader and with Kansas City's loss to Cleveland, Detroit (74-61) and the Royals sit tied atop the AL Central.
Putting the team first remains the main focus for Porcello as he tries to tie the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw for the most wins in the majors.
The right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.00 ERA in eight road starts since he yielded six runs in five innings of a 6-5 loss at Chicago (61-75) on June 9. Prior to that outing, Porcello was 5-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his previous seven at U.S. Cellular Field.
After teammate Max Scherzer failed to win his 16th in a 6-3 loss in Saturday's opener, Kyle Ryan threw six scoreless innings in his major league debut and Ian Kinsler had three hits with three RBIs in Detroit's 8-4 win in the nightcap.
Kinsler is 5 for 15 with a homer and six RBIs in the series.
Miguel Cabrera is 1 for 16 with six strikeouts in his last four, and could sit after his sore right ankle forced him from Saturday's second game.
'I told him I could give him a day (Sunday), and he said, `No, don't decide now because I might be good in the morning,'" manager Brad Ausmus said.
Teammate Victor Martinez is batting .367 with three homers and eight RBIs in eight games at Chicago this season. He's 6 for 15 versus Jose Quintana (6-10, 3.48), who is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts against the Tigers in 2014.
The left-hander is 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA in four outings that followed a nine-start stretch during which he went 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA.
He matched season highs by allowing six runs and nine hits in five innings of an 8-6, 10-inning loss to Cleveland on Tuesday. Three of those runs came in the first inning, where Quintana's yielded five while the White Sox have gone winless in his last five starts.
"If he's ever had anything, it's starting a game and getting into it," manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't necessarily have an answer for that."
With four total hits Saturday, Chicago's Jose Abreu is 20 for 38 with nine RBIs in the last nine games. He's batting .446 with 12 RBIs in 15 games against the Tigers, and is 1 for 3 with a homer against Porcello.
Dunn was sent packing for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn, ending an often unsuccessful four years in Chicago. He batted .201 with 106 homers, 278 RBIs and 720 strikeouts in 528 games.
The deal followed Saturday's trade of outfielder Alejandro De Aza to Baltimore for two minor league pitchers.
The Associated Press News Service
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