Chris Sale is 3-1 against the Detroit Tigers this season while Rick Porcello is 4-0 versus the Chicago White Sox.
That's the pitching matchup Saturday night in Detroit as the Tigers continue their pursuit of the AL Central title.
Detroit (90-64) reduced its magic number to clinch the division to three with a 12-5 rout Friday in the opener of this three-game set. Torii Hunter went 4 for 5 with three RBIs and Max Scherzer earned his 20th victory as the Tigers won for the eighth time in 10 games and improved to 11-6 in the season series.
Up next is what figures to be a low-scoring contest between Sale (11-13, 3.08 ERA) and Porcello (13-8, 4.45).
Sale has posted a 2.27 ERA against Detroit this year, limiting Prince Fielder to three hits in 13 at_bats, Hunter to four in 14 and Austin Jackson to none in 16. Reigning MVP Miguel Cabrera is 3 for 7 against Sale this year, but just 4 for 18 in his career.
Perhaps those Tigers hitters should emulate Victor Martinez, who is 10 for 14 off Sale this year.
He's the type of right-handed hitter that gives the left-hander problems, and Sale brought up Martinez after he gave up six runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 7-1 loss to Cleveland on Sunday. Sale owns an 8.61 ERA against the Indians this year.
"When someone has your number, they have your number, much like Victor Martinez," Sale said. "There's not much you can do when someone is on to you and kind of has your number. You just have to try to fight through that and battle through it."
Sale is 1-2 with a 5.49 ERA in three career starts in Detroit.
The Tigers are 5-0 in Porcello's outings against Chicago (60-93) this year, and he owns a 2.02 ERA in those starts with nearly one-third of his season victories.
Going back even further, Detroit has won 11 of the right-hander's last 12 starts in this series, with Porcello going 9-1 with a 2.34 ERA in that span.
Porcello has been extremely tough on Alexei Ramirez (.170) and Alejandro De Aza (.191). Gordon Beckham is 11 for 26 against Porcello and Conor Gillaspie 7 for 14.
Martinez was 2 for 3 with a two-run homer Friday. He is hitting .435 in the season series for his second-highest mark against any opponent besides a .464 average versus Oakland.
One negative for Detroit was that shortstop Jose Iglesias was out of the lineup, one day after being hit in the left hand by a pitch. X-rays were negative, and Iglesias considered himself fortunate, but he was still in a lot of pain after Thursday's game.
Manager Jim Leyland told the Tigers' official website on Friday that Iglesias could return "tomorrow maybe."
Chicago continues to look to the future with Avisail Garcia going 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs Friday. It marked his first game back at Comerica Park since he was traded to the White Sox by the Tigers in a three-team deal July 30.
The White Sox, who have dropped 10 of 11 on the road, are trying to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1970.
The Associated Press News Service
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