Seeing signs of progress, Tigers take on White Sox

Seeing signs of progress, Tigers take on White Sox

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Saturday’s 10-0 rout of the host Chicago White Sox assured the Detroit Tigers of a winning record against American League Central foes this season.

While Detroit (62-74) resides in third place in the division entering Sunday’s series finale in Chicago, the accomplishment still is something for the rebuilding organization to tout.

“We’re proud of that because we play each of these teams very well,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “Obviously, we need to clean up some things against other teams and we have a lot of work to do, but if you’re going to win your division and start pushing us in the right direction to where we want to get to, that’s an ingredient. So we know we can do it, we know we can match up against these guys.”

The Tigers took a 5-4 lead in the season series against the White Sox (53-83) with four meetings between the clubs remaining.

Detroit collected a season-high 18 hits on Saturday, led by a 4-for-5 effort from Miguel Cabrera, who recorded the 49th four-hit game of his career.

Five other Tigers finished with multi-hit games, while three pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout.

Left-hander Tarik Skubal (3-3, 3.93 ERA) will try to pitch Detroit to a three-game series sweep of Chicago, which has lost four of its last five games.

Skubal pitched to a 3.45 ERA in five August starts covering 28 2/3 innings but is coming off a Tuesday loss in which two of the four hits allowed to the New York Yankees were home runs. Skubal delivered a quality start nonetheless as he was effective with his changeup.

“I was pretty confident in it. … I felt like I was able to keep them off-balance,” he said.

Right-hander Michael Kopech (5-12, 5.08) will get the call for Chicago as he tries for some success in the second half.

Kopech is 1-4 with a 7.39 ERA in his past seven starts and hasn’t worked more than 5 1/3 innings during that span.

“It’s easy to kind of let your mind spin down that hole a little bit (and) get to a point of ‘woe is me,'” Kopech said. “Ultimately, that only leads to more issues, to more negativity, to not trusting yourself. And getting out of that (mindset) is the best way to overcome in this game as a team and as an individual.

“And there’s been times this year where I struggled to get out of it.”

Kopech had one of his better starts of the season against the Tigers on June 4, spacing two runs and three hits in seven innings of a no-decision. In seven career appearances against Detroit, including six starts, he is 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA.

Skubal, who has not faced the White Sox this season, is 3-2 with a 6.11 ERA in six career starts vs. them.

White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. was a late scratch Saturday after experiencing right quad tightness. Robert ranks second in the AL with 35 home runs.

—Field Level Media

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.