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.
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.
|Alejandro De Aza||13||.154||2||0||0||3||2||.313||.467||.154|
|Chicago White Sox|
|September 20, 2013||Andre Rienzo||Day-to-Day||Blister right hand|
|September 08, 2013||Avisail Garcia||Day-to-Day||Pulled teeth|
|September 02, 2013||Tyler Flowers||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder surgery - out for season|
|September 02, 2013||Tyler Flowers||60-Day DL||Right shoulder surgery - out for season|
|August 20, 2013||Jeff Keppinger||Day-to-Day||Stiff lower back|
|August 16, 2013||Ramon Troncoso||15-Day DL||Pericarditis|
|September 19, 2013||Jose Iglesias||Day-to-Day||Hand|
|September 19, 2013||Phil Coke||Day-to-Day||Elbow|
|September 04, 2013||Jose Iglesias||Day-to-Day||Bilateral shin splints|
|August 24, 2013||Jose Iglesias||Day-to-Day||Sore left elbow|
|August 17, 2013||Omar Infante||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back stiffness|
|August 11, 2013||Alex Avila||7-Day DL||Concussion|
DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers will probably clinch a division title in the next few days.
It would have to be quite a celebration to top this.
Detroit tied Saturday night's game with an astonishing six-run rally in the ninth inning, then beat the Chicago White Sox 7-6 when Omar Infante hit an infield single with the bases loaded in the 12th.
Infante's grounder deflected off the glove of reliever Jacob Petricka with one out, and the Tigers spilled onto the field with Comerica Park in a frenzy. Detroit plays its final scheduled home game of the year Sunday and can clinch a third straight AL Central championship with a win and a Cleveland loss.
"All year we've battled," outfielder Andy Dirks said. "We always say it doesn't matter if we're down or we're up, we're going to keep on grinding out at-bats and try to win the game no matter what."
Trailing 6-0 in the ninth, the Tigers scored five runs before the first out. Dirks' three-run homer as a pinch-hitter pulled Detroit within one.
"We know as long as you have outs left, you have a chance," outfielder Torii Hunter said.
The Tigers won after trailing by six in the ninth for the first time since Aug. 22, 1947, according to STATS. They beat the Washington Senators 7-6 that day.
It was the first time since at least 1918 the White Sox lost after leading by at least six runs in the ninth inning or later.
About the only negative for the Tigers was Miguel Cabrera 's departure shortly after his ninth-inning single. He left with groin soreness, and said he'd see how he feels Sunday.
Chicago's Chris Sale was working on a shutout when he was pulled in the eighth after 97 pitches. Nate Jones got out of that inning and after the White Sox added three runs in the top of the ninth, he came back to the mound with a 6-0 lead.
Detroit wasted no time turning a previously subdued night at the ballpark into a memorable one.
Hunter led off with a triple and scored on Cabrera's single. After a single by Prince Fielder , Victor Martinez added an RBI double.
The key hit came from Dirks, who followed Martinez with a homer that made it 6-5.
"It's a good feeling to put the team down by a run but then the rest of the guys came through and scored the other run to tie it up," Dirks said. "That speaks highly of this ballclub. It's one thing to get close, it's another thing to tie it up and then win it."
Chicago closer Addison Reed , who didn't appear to have had much time to warm up, came on and immediately walked Infante, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ramon Santiago .
Pinch-hitter Alex Avila and Austin Jackson both drew walks to load the bases for Hunter, whose sacrifice fly tied it.
"Just when you think you've seen everything," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "The game's hard unless you get 27 outs. They kept battling - good at-bat after good at-bat."
Cabrera walked to load the bases again, but Donnie Veal came on and got Prince Fielder to ground out to keep the game tied.
Al Alburquerque (4-3) threw two scoreless innings for Detroit, which scored the winning run without hitting the ball out of the infield. Don Kelly walked and went to second on Fielder's groundout. After an intentional walk to Martinez, Dirks walked to load the bases.
Infante's grounder might have been a double play ball, but Petricka (1-1) tried to field it, and when it bounced off his glove, the White Sox had no play.
Sale allowed four hits and a walk. He struck out seven.
"He's definitely one of the better lefties we've faced," Jackson said. "He changes speeds really well. He's able to throw his offspeed stuff for a strike, so there's really not anything you can just sit on."
Detroit starter Rick Porcello allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out nine.
The White Sox scored two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth before a three-run ninth appeared to have put the game out of reach. Bryan Anderson hit a two-run double in the ninth.
NOTES: Chicago acquired LHP Frank De Los Santos from Tampa Bay for a player to be named or cash. He will not be added to the major league roster. ... Detroit LF Matt Tuiasosopo made an outstanding diving catch for the third out in the seventh, preventing the White Sox from scoring more that inning. ... The Tigers send RHP Anibal Sanchez (14-7) to the mound Sunday to face Chicago RHP Erik Johnson (1-2).