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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tigers play White Sox with first in AL Central on the line

Since an 11-day span in early June when the Tigers hovered between five and six games off the pace, they've gone 22-11, putting themselves just a half game behind the American League Central-leading White Sox — who have spent 46 straight days in first — coming into Saturday's contest.
With a win, the Tigers could reclaim sole possession of first place for the first time since April 22.

The Tigers have gotten three exceptional starts in a row from Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and will need another one Saturday from Rick Porcello to extend their win streak to four games.

"Yeah. That’s the only way we’ve got a chance to win," manager Jim Leyland said before the game.. "He’s facing one of the best in the league. So when you face somebody like (Chris) Sale, the one common denominator is you better pitch good against him, or you’re going to get beat."

An All-Star after making the conversion to starting pitching, Sale comes into the game 11-2 with a 2.11 ERA overall, and a 3.20 ERA in 19.2 career innings pitched vs. Detroit. He's 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three career appearances at Comerica Park.

"He’s got great movement. He’s a hard thrower — 92-94 (mph), that’s pretty firm for a lefty. Got a nasty slider, and he’s kind of effectively wild," Leyland said. "He’s pretty good. In fact, he’s real good."

Austin Jackson, CF (R)
Ryan Raburn, LF (R)
Miguel Cabrera, 3B (R)
Prince Fielder, 1B (L)
Delmon Young, DH (R)
Jhonny Peralta, SS (R)
Brennan Boesch, RF (L)
Gerald Laird, C (R)
Danny Worth, 2B (R)

Alejandro DeAza, CF (L)
Kevin Youkilis, 3B (R)
Adam Dunn, DH (L)
Paul Konerko, 1B (R)
Alex Rios, RF (R)
A.J. Pierzynski, C (L)
Dayan Viciedo, LF (R)
Alexei Ramirez, SS (R)
Gordon Beckham, 2B (R)


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