The Detroit Tigers will try to complete a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox when the two teams match up in an AL Central battle at Comerica Park on Sunday.
Doug Fister shut down the White Sox on Friday night as the Tigers earned a 2-1 victory to open up the three-game set.
Saturday was much of the same as another strong pitching performance from a Detroit starter carried Detroit in a 3-0 victory.
Max Scherzer was just about as dominant as he has been all season in earning his Major League-leading 16th win in the contest. The right-hander gave up just three hits over 7 2/3 innings of work while striking out six batters. Recent trade acquisition Jose Veras got the final out in the eighth inning and then Joaquin Benoit shut the door with a scoreless ninth as he picked up his 12th save.
The Tigers were powered on offense by solo home runs from Torii Hunter, Jhonny Peralta and Jose Iglesias, another trade pickup by the Tigers. Detroit has won seven straight games and 11 of its last 12 and remained three games ahead of the Indians for the Al Central lead.
Miguel Cabrera was not in the lineup for the second straight night after he was scratched from the lineup on Friday with an abdominal injury.
John Danks fell to 2-9 on the season despite allowing just three runs on six hits in seven innings of work for the White Sox. Chicago went just 4-for-20 as a team and had no extra-base hits. The loss was the ninth straight for the White Sox.
Coming off his impressive MLB debut, rookie Andre Rienzo will try to keep the success going when he finishes the series for the White Sox.
Rienzo was called up to make a start on Tuesday and certainly left a solid impression. The 25-year-old Brazilian pitched seven innings and did not allow an earned run, though three unearned runs came across, while striking out six batters against Cleveland. Even though he did not factor in the decision, expectations have obviously elevated for the pitcher.
An undrafted free agent signing in 2006, Rienzo spent the beginning of the 2013 season with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. In 20 starts he compiled an 8-6 record and a 4.06 ERA.
At 24 years old, Rick Porcello is actually younger than his opposing pitcher in this contest. Porcello originally came up at the age of 20 during the 2009 season for the Tigers and since has been a fixture in the rotation.
On Sunday Porcello will be making his 20th start of the season as he looks to improve on his 8-6 record and 4.49 ERA.
Porcello had a very nice July as he went a perfect 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts during the month. The most recent of those outings came last Sunday when he allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings against the Phillies.
Two of Porcello's four starts in July actually came against the White Sox. While picking up wins in each contest, Porcello also posted a 2.08 ERA and struck out seven batters in 13 innings. In his career against Chicago, Porcello is 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA.
Detroit has a 6-3 edge over Chicago in the season series.