White Sox-Tigers Preview
The Chicago White Sox's Alex Rios emphatically put aside his struggles against one Detroit Tigers starter in the opener of this three-game set. He'll look to do the same against another Wednesday night.
The slugger has a poor history against Rick Porcello, who has been woeful in his last two home starts but was outstanding his last time out.
Rios tied an AL mark with six hits in a nine-inning game Tuesday in an 11-4 victory. He's the first White Sox player to go 6 for 6 since Lance Johnson on Sept. 23, 1995.
"It's been the most fun we've had in a quite a while," Rios said. "We've had some tough times, but it shows we haven't quit."
The right fielder was 8 for 33 in his career against Justin Verlander before becoming the first player to get four hits off the Tigers ace in one game.
Now Rios will try for a similar breakout effort against Porcello (5-6, 4.82 ERA). He's 6 for 28 with three homers against the right-hander.
Porcello, though, has yielded 13 runs over 10 1-3 innings in losing back-to-back home starts. His losing streak reached three before he threw seven innings to earn a 7-0 road victory over second-place Cleveland on Friday.
"His mound presence (that night), with a packed house, on the road and a team right there with you, was the best I've seen," manager Jim Leyland said.
Porcello has gone 5-1 with a 2.57 ERA in his last seven starts against the White Sox, including 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in the last three at home.
Gordon Beckham is 6 for 15 against the Tigers starter, and the Chicago second baseman is 9 for 20 during a five-game hitting streak.
The White Sox's 23 hits Tuesday marked their highest total since they had 24 on May 25, 2009. Dayan Viciedo homered twice and drove in four runs for Chicago, which ended a four-game overall slide and seven-game skid in Detroit.
Miguel Cabrera broke the Tigers' record for homers before the All-Star break with his 29th. He leads the majors with a .363 batting average and 92 RBIs.
Cabrera, however, appeared to hurt his back by leaping for a high throw in the eighth inning.
"He's not 100 percent and that's why he's not going to take part in the (All-Star game) home run contest," Leyland said. "I talked to him and we talked to the trainers, and on the trainer's advice, he's not going to do it."
Victor Martinez is hitting .400 during an 11-game streak for Detroit (49-40), which will try to extend the winless streak of Chicago's Dylan Axelrod (3-5, 4.97) to eight starts.
Axelrod has gone 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA over his last seven outings. He gave up five runs over 1 2-3 innings in the shortest start of his career Friday, an 8-3 road loss to Tampa Bay.
The right-hander owns a 5.84 ERA against Detroit in four career appearances - two starts. Cabrera is 3 for 7 against him and Austin Jackson is 4 for 5.