White Sox ace Chris Sale was able to stifle to the Tigers in a 5-1 win on Monday night, and the South Siders are hoping they can showcase a future ace, rookie Erik Johnson, in his first home start on Tuesday.
Johnson, who is ranked No. 2 by MLB.com among the White Sox top prospects, went 12-3 with a 1.96 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 141 innings over 24 Minor League starts between Double-A and Triple-A. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits in six innings in his Major League debut on Wednesday against the Yankees.
"I'm looking forward to it, but it's just like any other start," Johnson said. "I try to treat each start like that and hopefully, I'll build off my first one and the second one goes as planned."
The Tigers, losers of five of six, are in need of win after watching their American League Central lead reduced to 4 1/2 games over the hard-charging Indians, who have won five of six.
Rick Porcello will take the mound for the Tigers, facing the White Sox for the fifth time since July 10. He's 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA in those four starts, but he is coming off a rough outing against the Red Sox. On Wednesday, Porcello gave up eight earned runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings. It was the most walks he's allowed in a start this year.
"Obviously leadoff walks come around to score pretty frequently in this league," Porcello said. "I think failure to get anybody out after that is pretty big, too."
Tigers: Pitchers holding runners better
After 24 consecutive stolen bases against Detroit pitching, the Tigers threw out two would-be basestealers in four attempts in their weekend series against the Royals.
"I think we did a good job," manager Jim Leyland said. "We're conscious of it. Sometimes they just get hung up on throwing to the plate and they forget about [the runner]."
The Royals stole nine bases over a five-game series against the Tigers last month.
"That's something that we focused on a little better this weekend," Leyland said. "We did a pretty good job of it, really."
White Sox: Dunn explains comments about retirement
• Adam Dunn talked about his non-retirement comments last week and stressed he would only retire if the game was no longer enjoyable for him, regardless of stats or money owed to him.
Dunn has made similar comments in the past.
"For some reason, people take that as I'm retiring. Is this year hard? Yeah, it's hard," Dunn said. "Has it been one of the harder ones? Yeah, because the expectations that we had in this locker room were so high. To play like we are playing, it's a huge letdown. I don't know where that comes into that I'm retiring."
• Avisail Garcia had root canals performed on two different teeth Monday, but manager Robin Ventura said he may be able to return to the lineup on Tuesday.
• Gordon Beckham is hitting .435 with four doubles and four RBIs in 23 career at-bats against Porcello. It's the best batting average for any player with at least 20 at-bats against the Tigers right-hander.
• Dunn needs one home run to tie Andre Dawson for 39th place on the all-time home run list with 438 homers.
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.