The Detroit Tigers were blind-sided by the Chicago White Sox in the opener of this three-game series and shoot for a bounce-back effort Wednesday from Comerica Park.
The Tigers were handed an 11-4 loss Tuesday and a seven-run eighth inning by Chicago put the game out of reach. Justin Verlander was on point until that inning and was dealt the loss for giving up 12 hits and five runs in seven- plus innings of work. Verlander is 9-6 on the season.
"I wasn't crisp ... just one of those days it happens," Verlander admitted. "I felt good but I just wasn't able to execute there in the eighth."
Matt Tuiasosopo, Don Kelly and Miguel Cabrera all homered for the Tigers, who had won five straight until losing two of the past three and are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians for the AL Central lead. Cabrera has homered three times in the past four games and has 29 on the season.
The slugger has the most home runs by a Tiger before the All-Star break and leads the majors with 92 RBI.
Detroit is one win away from 50 on the season and will turn to Rick Porcello on Wednesday. Porcello was recently suspended six games for hitting Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist with a pitch on June 30 and appealed the penalty. He halted a personal three-game losing streak in Friday's 7-0 win at Cleveland, where he delivered seven shutout innings.
Porcello, who allowed 16 runs during his recent slide, is 5-6 in 17 games (16 starts) to go along with a 4.82 ERA. The hard-throwing right-hander has made 11 career starts against the White Sox and sports a 5-5 record and a 4.96 ERA to show for it. He is 2-2 in eight starts at home.
Chicago halted a four-game slide overall and had lost four in a row away from home until Tuesday's breakout performance. Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer and Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run shot in that crucial eighth inning. Viciedo ended with two homers and four RBI, while Alex Rios was 6-for-6 with two RBI for the White Sox, who pounded out 23 hits.
"I don't know how to describe it," Rios said of going 6-for-6. "It's fun and when you feel that you're making progress it feels even better."
Rios matched both a franchise and American League single-game record and became the first player to get four hits off Verlander.
The White Sox had five players with three or more hits.
Dylan Axelrod is still searching for his first win since May 26 and will get the call for the White Sox Wednesday. Axelrod is 0-2 with a 6.23 earned run average in his last seven starts and Chicago is 2-5 in that span.
Axelrod had won three straight starts before the current drought and couldn't even get out of the second inning of an 8-3 loss at Tampa Bay on July 5, when he was tagged for five runs and nine hits in 1 2/3 innings. Axelrod is 3-5 in 17 starts with a 4.97 ERA.
The right-hander, who is 1-4 in nine road starts this season, owns an 0-1 mark and a 5.84 ERA in four career games (2 starts) against the Tigers.
The White Sox and Tigers are meeting for the first time since the Tigers went 12-6 a season ago. Chicago ended a seven-game slide at Comerica Park on Tuesday and is 5-19 in the past 24 road games overall.
Detroit has still won nine of the last 12 matchups with Chicago.