The White Sox were part of the reason Rick Porcello earned the Tigers' Pitcher of the Month honors in July, as the right-hander defeated the South Siders in two quality starts last month.
On Sunday, the White Sox will be the first test for Porcello as he looks to carry over his solid July to a month that has rarely been kind to him.
Porcello gets the ball Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park in the finale of a three-game series against the White Sox, who have lost a season-high nine straight games and 15 of their last 18.
Sunday will be the third time in Porcello's last four starts he faces the White Sox. He was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in the first two and, though he'll be facing a familiar foe, Porcello said he won't necessarily be changing his approach.
"It's one of those things where a big league hitter, the more pitches they see against you, the more comfortable they're going to be, the more familiar they're going to be with your stuff," Porcello said. "You have to really mix everything up, change up your patterns and keep them off balance as much as you can."
Porcello was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts last month, also facing the Indians and Phillies. He said that success stems from a combination of things, both of his own making and help from his teammates.
"Over the past couple of starts, I've been able to keep the ball down and prevent some big hits," Porcello said. "At the same time too, guys have been playing great defense behind me, and making some huge plays, bailing me out of some trouble. It's just a combination of that, and I want to continue that, keep progressing and making good pitches to be consistent throughout the rest of the season."
Building on July has been an issue in the past for Porcello. He's 8-9 with a 4.76 career ERA in August, including 3-6 with a 5.66 ERA the last two seasons.
Opposing Porcello is rookie right-hander Andre Rienzo, who last week was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte to start in place of recently traded Jake Peavy. He certainly earned a second look after an impressive debut, allowing three unearned runs on five hits in seven innings in a no-decision against the Indians.
Aside from a solid outing, the 25-year-old also brought a lot of energy in the eventual loss.
"That's a positive. He gets everybody into it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said after Rienzo's debut. "I don't necessarily understand all the stuff he's doing, but he's moving around and moving people around. It was fun seeing him pitch. The end stunk, but he did well."
White Sox: Offense with some success against Tigers
The Tigers have had Chicago's number for quite some time, but it's not at the fault of a handful of White Sox.
Outfielder Dayan Viciedo is batting .400 with four home runs and seven RBIs against Detroit this season, while Alex Rios (.389), Alejandro De Aza (.342) and Adam Dunn (.313) are all hitting above .300.
• Although the White Sox have lost their last nine games, Chicago's rotation has a 2.72 ERA in that span.
Tigers: Cabrera sits from lineup again Saturday
Third baseman Miguel Cabrera was once again out of the lineup Saturday after being scratched prior to Friday's game, when he felt discomfort running. Manager Jim Leyland didn't say whether he expected the reigning American League Most Valuable Player to return Sunday.
• The Tigers are 37-14 against the White Sox since Sept. 7, 2010, including 21-5 at Comerica Park.