Tigers-White Sox Preview

The Associated PressAugust 12, 2013

Miguel Cabrera never enjoyed much success against Chris Sale before finally going deep earlier this season.

These two will meet again after the reigning AL MVP enjoyed a weekend hitting two homers off another tough pitcher he had never gotten a hit against.

Cabrera looks to go four straight games with a homer for the second time this year when he matches up with Sale in Monday night's opener of a three-game set in Chicago.

Before 2013, Cabrera had a single in 11 at-bats against Sale (7-11, 2.77 ERA). He went 1 for 3 with a solo homer July 11 although the Chicago starter allowed three runs over 6 2-3 innings to earn a 6-3 victory.

Cabrera had been hitless in five at-bats including the postseason against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera prior to this year. That changed this weekend when he homered twice off the famed reliever, even though Detroit (69-47) lost two of three following its 12-game win streak.

''It doesn't happen that often with Rivera that you hit him twice like that and don't win either game,'' manager Jim Leyland said after Sunday's 5-4 defeat.

This will be Cabrera's first game in Chicago since he exited a 7-3 victory July 22 with a sore hip flexor muscle. He's 14 for 33 with four homers and 11 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak.

The slugger last homered in four straight games May 19-23.

Detroit is 7-3 against Chicago (44-72), with Victor Martinez hitting .410 and Torii Hunter homering a team-high four times.

Martinez rested twice this weekend for Detroit and figures to be back in the lineup since he is 6 for 7 versus Sale this year. The Tigers, however, will be without catcher Alex Avila. He was placed on the seven-day concussion list after being hit in the mask by a foul ball Thursday, though he did play Saturday.

Sale is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA and 19 strikeouts in two starts against the Tigers after going 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in three in 2012.

The left-hander owns baseball's lowest run-support average at 2.53, although he got enough help to end a three-start losing streak last Tuesday after allowing one unearned run over 7 1-3 innings in a 3-2 victory over the Yankees.

Sale lowered his home ERA to 2.07 - the AL's second-best mark.

He'll be opposed by Doug Fister (10-5, 3.50), who is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last five outings. Fister's four-start win streak ended last Wednesday when he surrendered two runs over six innings with eight strikeouts in a 6-5, 14-inning win at Cleveland.

One of Fister's victories during his streak came Aug. 2, when he allowed one run in eight innings in beating the White Sox 2-1.

The right-hander has limited Paul Konerko to four hits in 23 at-bats and Gordon Beckham to four in 17. Adam Dunn is 6 for 10 with no homers off Fister.

Fister will get his first look at former Tigers outfielder Avisail Garcia.

The White Sox acquired the 22-year-old, who is 2 for 9 with his new club, from Detroit on July 30 in the three-team deal that saw Jake Peavy go to Boston.