CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers have played plenty of games against each other as American League Central rivals, but the second game of Saturday's day/night doubleheader will provide a unique moment.
White Sox starter Chris Bassitt and Tigers starter Kyle Ryan each will be making their major league debut against each other. The doubleheader came about after the June 10 game against the two teams was rained out.
Both players will be their team's extra 26th player, permitted for split doubleheaders that come about when a game is rescheduled. That means that each will be removed from the roster immediately after the game, but the White Sox have already said that Bassitt will be a part of their September expanded roster.
The opening game of the doubleheader will provide its own intrigue as American League ERA leader Chris Sale takes on the Tigers' Max Scherzer, who won the AL Cy Young Award last season. The Tigers originally planned to start Scherzer in the second game, but reportedly switched when they found out Sale was pitching in the first game.
Before the second game of the doubleheader, the White Sox are planning to honor the Jackie Robinson West Little League team from the South Side that won the United States championship at the recently-concluded Little League World Series. The team lost the international championship game to South Korea.
The second game is also Tony La Russa Bobblehead Night, with the White Sox also planning to honor their former manager, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July.
HEAD TO HEAD
The White Sox's Jose Abreu is 4-for-9 (.444) against Tigers starter Justin Verlander this season with two solo home runs. ... The White Sox's Adam Dunn has six combined home runs against Tigers starters Scherzer and Verlander, but he has also struck out 37 times against the duo, including 23 times in 47 at-bats against Scherzer. ... The White Sox's Avisail Garcia is 5-for-10 (.500) against Tigers starter Rick Porcello, while Conor Gillaspie is 9-for-20 (.450). ... White Sox starter Scott Carroll has not faced the Tigers. ... The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera is 6-for-24 (.250) against White Sox starter Chris Sale with a pair of home runs. ... Cabrera is 7-for-20 (.350) against White Sox starter Jose Quintana with a home run.
The White Sox have lost eight of their past nine games and six of their last eight at home. ... Abreu is 13-for-28 (.464) during his current eight-game hitting streak and has also hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games, going 20-for-49 (.408) in that stretch. ... Abreu is three RBIs short of becoming the fourth White Sox rookie to reach the 100 mark. ... Alexei Ramirez has not only shown some slick fielding of late, he also has 10 multi-hit games in the month of August. ... White Sox leadoff man Adam Eaton is coming off a series against the Cleveland Indians when he went 4-for-11 (.364) with a double, triple, RBI and four runs scored. ... Sale's 165 strikeouts are a franchise best through 21 starts of a season and his 2.03 ERA would be the lowest by a White Sox starter since Wilbur Wood had a 1.91 mark in 1971. ... The Tigers will enter the weekend series 1 1/2 games behind the first place Kansas City Royals in the American League Central. ... The last time these two teams met to close out July, the White Sox won the series at Detroit and have since gone 7-17 in the month of August.
Friday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (5-8, 5.05 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Justin Verlander (11-11, 4.82), 7:10 p.m. CST
Saturday: Game 1: White Sox LH Chris Sale (10-3, 2.03) vs. Tigers RH Max Scherzer, (15-4, 3.13), 12:10 p.m. CST; Game 2: White Sox RH Chris Bassitt (0-0, 0.00) vs. Tigers LH Kyle Ryan (0-0, 0.00) 6:10 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (6-10, 3.48) vs. Tigers RH Rick Porcello (15-8, 3.06), 1:10 p.m. CST