By defeating the Rays in four games the Rangers got a chance to set up their ALCS rotation in the same order as the ALDS, but the Tigers will juggle things a bit after needing five games to defeat the Yankees.
Jim Leyland avoided using Justin Verlander as a reliever in Game 5, so he’ll be fully rested to start the series opener against the Rangers. Rick Porcello will follow him in Game 2, moving up in the rotation because Doug Fister and Max Scherzer both pitched in Game 5 last night.
That means Verlander is scheduled to start just two of the seven games, although obviously Leyland may change plans if the Tigers are down 2-1 or 3-0 when Game 4 rolls around.
The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.
Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.
The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.