CHICAGO — Kyle Ryan's successful major league debut was a potentially costly victory for the Detroit Tigers.
Ryan pitched six scoreless innings, and the Tigers salvaged a split of Saturday's day-night doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox with an 8-4 victory.
Detroit moved back into a tie for the AL Central lead, but Miguel Cabrera's sore right ankle forced him from the game in the fourth inning. The winner of the last two AL MVP awards could be out for four or five days, a subject that manager Brad Ausmus broached with him earlier in the week.
"It flares up from time to time with different movements and different actions," Ausmus said. "I told him I could give him a day tomorrow, and he said, 'No, don't decide now because I might be good in the morning.'
"We want him in the lineup because he's such a presence, but we need him to be healthy, too. So it's a delicate balance."
In the opener, Chris Sale struck out a season-high 13, beating Max Scherzer in a matchup of All-Star aces and leading Chicago to a 6-3 win.
Ezequiel Carrera, Don Kelly and Ian Kinsler each had three hits for Detroit in the nightcap. Ryan (1-0) allowed five hits and walked two.
"(Ryan) didn't allow the game to speed up on him," Ausmus said. "He did a good job to keep his wits about him."
Ausmus considered benching Cabrera in the second game, but the first baseman said he was fit to play. He went 1 for 7 on the day with four strikeouts, two on called third strikes. His batting average dipped to .299, the first time it has been below .300 since May 16.
In his third at-bat, Cabrera hit a smash up the middle that glanced off pitcher Chris Bassitt and rolled several feet behind the mound. Bassitt was able to retrieve the ball and throw out Cabrera on what should have been a close play. Rajai Davis scored on the groundout to cap a three-run inning and give the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
Cabrera did not speak with reporters before he was escorted out of U.S. Cellular Field on a golf cart.
"Talk to the manager and the trainer," he said.
The White Sox scored four times in the eighth. Avisail Garcia had a run-scoring fielder's choice before Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer off Joba Chamberlain.
But the Tigers put the game away with three runs in the ninth. J.D. Martinez hit a sacrifice fly and Alex Avila and Kelly added RBI singles.
Promoted from Double-A Birmingham prior to the game, Bassitt (0-1) allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings in his major league debut.
Sale (11-3) struck out at least 10 for the 17th time in his career, tying Hall of Famer Ed Walsh for the franchise record. The lanky left-hander reached that figure in 81 major league starts — Walsh made 312 for the White Sox from 1904-1916.
Sale allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings. Jake Petricka pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer and Tyler Flowers also went deep against Scherzer (15-5), who fanned 11 and walked none in 6 2-3 innings. But he was touched up for six runs, five earned, and nine hits in the makeup of a June 10 rainout.
"That was the frustrating part of it. I had great stuff today," Scherzer said. "Anytime you can strike out 11 and not walk anyone, you're doing things right. But I got beat on a couple of pitches."
Tigers: Between games, RHP Joakim Soria tested his strained left oblique by throwing on flat ground for the second straight day. "He feels (discomfort) at certain distances, but it has been a longer distance since he's felt it," Ausmus said. "The last time he felt it, it was at 75 feet. This time it was at 90 feet." The hope is that Soria will be able to throw off a mound next week.
White Sox: Jose Abreu started at DH in both games and was limping at times, the result of an upper leg problem that manager Robin Ventura dismissed as fatigue before the game. "No, not at all," Abreu said when asked whether he had changed his approach at the plate. "In fact, it's not an injury. It's just something that's bothering me and I'm working at (in therapy)."
Tigers RHP Rick Porcello (15-8, 3.06 ERA) will oppose White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (6-10, 3.48 ERA) in the series finale Sunday.
DE AZA DEALT
The White Sox traded OF Alejandro De Aza to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league right-handers Mark Blackmar and Miguel Chalas.
LA RUSSA, JACKIE ROBINSON KIDS GET THEIR DUE
Ex-White Sox manager Tony La Russa and the Jackie Robinson West Little League team on Chicago's South Side were honored before the second game.