American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, September 1st
(All times Eastern)
Chicago White Sox (72-59) at Detroit Tigers (70-61), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Francisco Liriano (5-10, 5.06)
Detroit - Max Scherzer (14-6, 4.13)
(Sports Network) - Max Scherzer hopes to pitch the Detroit Tigers to an
important series win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday when the American
League Central rivals resume a three-game set at Comerica Park.
Detroit drew first blood in this series on Friday, as Delmon Young ripped a
tie-breaking, three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel
the Tigers to 7-4 win.
Miguel Cabrera added three hits, including a two-run home run, and scored
twice for the Tigers, who now trail the White Sox by just two games in the
division and have beaten them in five straight matchups.
"We're almost at Labor Day and we're playing for something," Tigers manager
Jim Leyland said. "The one goal I do have is to get into September and be
playing for something and we've accomplished that."
Octavio Dotel (5-2) earned the victory after allowing just one hit over 1 2/3
innings of relief. Jose Valverde tossed a scoreless ninth to nail down his
27th save of the season.
Jake Peavy (9-10) was charged for six runs on nine hits and four walks over
six-plus frames to take his third straight losing decision.
"They got a big hit and we had some chances to get a big one and couldn't
quite pull it off but the boys battled," Peavy said. "I gotta be better than
that, just didn't have much to go on tonight."
A.J. Pierzynski clubbed a solo homer and Paul Konerko plated a pair in the
setback, Chicago's fourth in its last five games.
Things won't get any easier for the ChiSox on Saturday against Scherzer, who
has allowed just four runs in winning his last four starts. Scherzer was
brilliant against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday, holding them to
a run and four hits over seven innings to improve to 14-6, while lowering his
ERA to 4.13.
He also struck out nine batters to give him 195 on the season, three shy of
teammate Justin Verlander for the major league lead.
"This series is very big. They know it, we know it, the world knows it. These
are must-win series for us. We can't bleed away too many more games," Scherzer
said. "Obviously, it's not the end of the world, but these games are very
important. I just think this is our opportunity to come out there and play the
baseball we know we're capable of. I think if we're able to do that against
this team, we'll be able to win this series."
Scherzer is just 3-4 in 11 starts against the White Sox, despite a 2.85 ERA.
Chicago, meanwhile, will rely on lefty Francisco Liriano, who is 2-0 in six
starts since being acquired from the Minnesota Twins. Liriano did not get a
decision on Monday in Baltimore, as he struggled with his command and allowed
two runs and six hits with four walks in five innings of a 4-3 loss.
Liriano has faced the Tigers 21 times (15 starts) and is 5-6 against them with
a 5.69 ERA.
Detroit is 8-4 so far in the season series with Chicago, which has lost four
in a row at Comerica Park.
09/01 10:22:48 ET