Chris Sale has two scores to settle Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
First, the White Sox' ace left-hander wants to beat the Tigers. Second, he wants a better outcome in his second head-to-head matchup against Justin Verlander in 12 days.
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"I think everyone knows what's going on here," said Sale, who is 8-0 with a 1.20 ERA in his last nine home starts. "At the same time you have to go out with every intention of winning and staying on pace. I've said it before. You start hyping things up, you start trying to do too much and that's when things, the wheels start to fall off. That's not what we need."
On Sept. 2, Sale allowed 4 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks over 6 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park. Verlander allowed 1 run on 4 hits in 8 innings whole striking out 11.
"He's good," Sale said of Verlander. "They've got a good lineup, but they've been beaten and it's been proven so just got to go in there and attack and see where it falls."
Hector Santiago was scheduled to start for the Sox Friday at Minnesota, but the left-hander was pressed into relief duty Wednesday night against the Tigers.
Manager Robin Ventura said Francisco Liriano could get the call, even though he allowed 10 runs on 16 hits and 15 walks in 14 innings over his last three starts before being moved to the bullpen.
Liriano said his inability to throw strikes is partly mental.
"Sometimes I try to do too much," he said. "Sometimes I try to be perfect. And the thing is sometimes I give too much credit to a hitter and am trying too hard to pitch instead of hitting my spot and letting the guy behind me make a play."
Switch it up:
Alejandro De Aza has been the White Sox' regular center fielder all season, but he played left Wednesday. Dewayne Wise moved from left field to center.
"Well, in talking to him, De Aza's a little more comfortable in left," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's just one of those where if he feels more comfortable over there, go over there. That's it."
The White Sox open the 2013 season on April 1 with a home game against the Royals.
May is the most interesting part of the schedule.
Former manager Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins come to U.S. Cellular Field May 24-26 and the Cubs are up next for a pair of games on May 27-28.
The Sox play the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 29-30. Since 1999, the White Sox and Cubs have played six interleague games a season, three at each park.
"We played them too much," veteran relief pitcher Matt Thornton. "Now you're getting two and two. I think that's going to add a little more excitement."