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Game 95 Preview: White Sox at Tigers

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DETROIT, MI - JULY 16:  Rick Porcello #48 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the second inning during the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Comerica Park on July 16, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 16: Rick Porcello #48 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the second inning during the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Comerica Park on July 16, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Chicago White Sox (50-43) at Detroit Tigers (50-44)

Time/Place: 4:00 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: South Side Sox

Media: FOX (map), Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: Chris Sale (11-2, 2.11 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (6-5, 4.66 ERA)

Sale's start against the Tigers in April -- when he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings of work -- was arguably one of his worst outings this season. Other than a 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER no decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers in June, Sale hasn't allowed more than 3 runs in an outing this year. Since then, he has pitched 31 1/3 innings in just four starts and allowed four runs. Simply put: he's tearing it up this season. Will it continue? Maybe. His walk rate and HR/FB rate are both extremely low, especially for someone who regularly pitches at the bandbox known as U.S. Cellular Field.

Porcello's first two outings in July have not been pretty, but the offense has picked him up both times. The Tigers have scored 15 runs in his two starts this month. Against the White Sox this year, Porcello has been fantastic. He is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA against them in 14 innings of work. He has beaten Sale already once this year, picking up a 5-2 victory on April 15th that prevented a series sweep in Chicago.

Outlook

While it would be nice to see both of the trends in the paragraph above continue, I'm not sure that this will happen. Chicago's offense has picked up since Porcello last saw them, and Sale has been lights out for the last couple months. The extra day off hasn't messed with his rhythm so far this season, so I don't see why it would today. The Tigers will need to pick up some late runs against the White Sox' struggling bullpen to pick up a 'W' today.

Prediction

Sale pitches 7 strong, but the Tigers walk it off in the 9th. Sadly, FOX's national broadcast deprives us of 90 seconds of silence from Hawk Harrelson immediately following the game-winning play.