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CWS@NYY: Sale fans seven over six frames vs. Yanks

CHICAGO -- The Tigers and White Sox gear up for a potentially weather challenged day-night doubleheader Saturday in the midst of a four-game series in Chicago.

Game 1 will feature two of the best pitchers in the American League. Cy Young hopeful Chris Sale takes the hill for the White Sox against the defending Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

These aces dueled on June 13 in Detroit, a 4-0 Tigers win.

Sale, the AL ERA leader (2.03), picked up his first loss of the season that day despite fanning 10 and allowing just one earned run on five hits. Scherzer tossed his first career complete game.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he expects "probably something similar to what we saw last time."

"Two of the best pitchers in the league," he said. "If it does rain, it's a possibility with those guys pitching, you might be able to get the game in under an hour."

Scherzer was initially slated to pitch the nightcap, but was moved up when the White Sox moved Chris Sale to the opener.

The day's second game will feature two pitchers making their big league debuts.

Left-handed Kyle Ryan wasn't even with the Tigers during Spring Training, but he was penciled as a spot starter after an hour of discussion among coaches on Thursday. With Triple-A Toledo, Ryan is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA and .184 average against in five starts. Ausmus labeled him a finesse pitcher.

White Sox righty Chris Bassitt was with Double-A Birmingham this week, and didn't debut this year until July 12 after breaking his pitching hand in a non-baseball injury. Bassitt has gone 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA, a .206 average against, 36 strikeouts and 14 walks in 34 2/3 innings pitched over six starts with Birmingham.

"You look at him, just size-wise and how it comes out of his hand, it's an intriguing pitcher -- just because of the way he throws," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We were impressed with him then. It was fun watching him in Spring Training. Now you get a chance to see him up here against some good hitters."

Both will be the team's 26th man on their respective rosters.

A 60 percent chance of rain is in the forecast with scattered thunderstorms during the day and isolated showers during the evening. This doubleheader was necessary because of a rainout on June 11.

"Either way, we'll be here all day," Ausmus said.

White Sox: Ventura praises Ramirez's defense
Alexei Ramirez has a .983 fielding percentage that ranks third among MLB shortstops with at least 1,000 innings. His 101 double plays are a league best, 11 ahead of second place J.J. Hardy of Baltimore.

"It has been incredible," Ventura said of Ramirez's defense. "The fielding statistics tell you a little bit of the story, but just looking at him, all his abilities, all the things he can do, fielding, hands, throwing and acrobatic plays, has been incredible."

Ramirez was an All-Star this season for the first time in his seven-year career. On offense, he boasts a slash line of .286/.318/.421 with 13 homers, 63 RBIs and 42 extra base hits. Ramirez also had a 17-game hitting streak, a White Sox high at the time.

Tigers: Reed joins Tigers
The Tigers on Friday purchased the contract of righty reliever Evan Reed, just over a week after a Wayne County judge dismissed sexual conduct charges against the 28-year-old

"I could just take a deep breath and concentrate on getting back to playing for the Tigers," Reed said.

Reed was designated for assignment then sent to Triple-A Toledo in June after 27 games with the Tigers, with whom he made the Opening Day roster for the first time.

Worth noting
• Jose Abreu (.316), Adam Eaton (.310) and Conor Gillaspie (.302) all rank among AL leaders in batting average. The last time three White Sox finished among the top 10 in that category was 1960, with Al Smith (second, .315), Minnie Minoso (third, .311), Roy Sievers (sixth, .295) and Nellie Fox (ninth, .289).

• The Tigers are 7-6 against the White Sox, and 27-23 against the AL Central. Comments