The Detroit Tigers will shoot for a third consecutive victory on Tuesday when they battle the Chicago White Sox in the second test of a four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Tigers used a strong outing from All-Star Max Scherzer, who allowed two runs and four hits over eight innings in Detroit's 7-3 victory. Scherzer also struck out five without walking a batter.
The win pushed Scherzer's record to 14-1 this season, tying him with Tampa Bay's Matt Moore for the most victories in the majors.
Thanks to a Cleveland loss to Seattle on Monday, Detroit was able to extend its lead atop the AL Central to 2 1/2 games. However, it wasn't all good news for the Tigers, as the club saw third baseman and reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera exit the game due to a sore left hip flexor muscle. Cabrera was replaced by Don Kelly and is listed as day-to-day.
"He's tough, he won't be out long," Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said. "If you need to rest him a couple of days, I guess we have to do that. We need him for the long run."
Cabrera, who won the Triple Crown last season, is leading the AL with a .358 batting average and is second in home runs (31) and runs batted in (96).
Victor Martinez singled four times and drove in three runs on Monday for the Tigers, who won back-to-back contests for the first time since winning five straight from July 2-6. Hunter launched a solo homer.
Chicago's Chris Sale (6-9) struck out 11 batters in an eight-inning performance on Monday, but the lefty fell to 1-7 over his last nine starts. The All-Star surrendered four runs -- two earned -- and walked three in the tough loss.
Conor Gillaspie and Dayan Viciedo homered for the last-place White Sox, who had just five hits and saw their two-game wining streak stopped. Chicago also committed three errors in the game.
"If we play better defense, we're probably in that game a little more," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Rick Porcello will take the mound Tuesday for Detroit in his first outing since serving a six-game suspension for hitting Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist on June 30. Porcello appealed the ruling and pitched twice more before the start of the All-Star break, going 2-0 while allowing just three runs over 13 total innings in those outings.
After tossing seven shutout innings in a win at Cleveland on July 5, the right-hander beat the White Sox with a six-inning, three-run outing on July 10.
All told, Porcello is 6-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 12 career games -- all starts -- against the White Sox.
Meanwhile, the White Sox hope lefty Hector Santiago can turn in a repeat performance of his last outing on Tuesday, even though it came in a losing effort. Santiago struck out nine batters while allowing just one run and three hits over 7 1/3 inning in Philadelphia on July 13. The Phillies won the contest by a 2-1 score.
Santiago has three no-decisions in as many July starts despite recording a strong 2.28 ERA in those outings.
Although Santiago has appeared in seven career games against the Tigers this will be his first start. The converted reliever has compiled a 1.64 ERA in his relief appearances against Detroit.
Detroit and the White Sox have split four meetings this season after the Tigers claimed 12 of 18 encounters in 2012.