The Detroit Tigers continue their road trip Monday with the first of four straight games against the Chicago White Sox. Detroit salvaged the finale of a three-game series in Kansas City that opened the second half of the season, posting a 4-1 triumph Sunday after dropping a pair of one-run decisions.
The win helped the first-place Tigers maintain a 1 1/2-game lead over Cleveland in the American League Central.
Chicago is all but out of the race, sitting in last place - 13 games behind Detroit, but enters the series having won two straight over Atlanta this weekend. In addition, the White Sox took two of three in Detroit the week prior to the All-Star break, with Monday's starter, Chris Sale, getting the win in the finale. That game featured a benches-clearing incident that led to multiple ejections, but no punches were thrown.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN (Detroit), WCIU (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Max Scherzer (13-1, 3.19 ERA) vs. White Sox LH Chris Sale (6-8, 2.85)
Prior to starting the All-Star Game in New York on Tuesday, Scherzer suffered his first loss in 14 decisions, giving up four runs in six innings of a 7-1 setback to Texas. Two of his 13 wins this year have come against Kansas City. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA in nine road starts.
Sale is just 2-3 with a 4.35 ERA against the Tigers but did well to navigate 6 2/3 innings against them on July 11. He gave up three runs on a season-high 10 hits and got stronger as the game went on to help Chicago erase an early 3-1 deficit. The lanky All-Star has a 2.50 ERA and a miniscule 0.83 WHIP in seven home starts.
1. Scherzer has a 2.51 ERA in 13 career starts against Chicago.
2. Tigers closer RH Joaquin Benoit is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA and seven saves over his last 18 outings.
3. White Sox RF Alex Rios went 6-for-12 with a home run, double, stolen base and eight RBIs in the three-game series against Atlanta.