Rick Porcello (7-6, 4.56 ERA) takes the hill for Detroit and for the Red Sox it's right-hander Aaron Cook (2-4, 4.50) that gets the call. For the most part, both have been hit or miss this season, and both definitely fell on the "miss" side in their last outings.
Porcello was spectacular for the better part of July, taking a 2.89 ERA in his six prior starts into his Friday outing vs. the Blue Jays. He was even coming off an eight-inning performance in which he nearly earned his first career complete game. However, he was pegged for five runs on six hits in six innings in Toronto.
"It was really just a matter of one pitch that ended up being the difference," said Porcello, who allowed a bases-loaded bases-clearing double to Jeff Mathis that resulted in most of the damage.
For Cook, July wasn't quite as kind. The 33-year-old finished the month 0-3 with a 4.63 ERA. He had one excellent start, firing seven scoreless innings against the White Sox, but the righty has allowed nine runs in 10 1/3 innings since.
He tied a season high by allowing six earned runs on seven hits in four innings vs. the Yankees on Friday. Whereas Porcello previously hadn't lost a game since June 20, Cook hasn't gotten a win since June 29.
"It's very frustrating," said Cook after a 10-3 loss to the Yankees. "The one thing we've got to be able to do is forget about this, wash it off and come back tomorrow. We can't think about our loss and feel bad about ourselves."
Tigers: Detroit can't reach deal for righty bat at Deadline
The Tigers entered Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline seeking a right-handed bat, but the day came and went without an acquisition.
"We had numerous conversations today, but nothing of major consequence," general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "We were looking if we were going to get a right-handed hitter at some point. That was really our focus, and I don't think we ever really came close."
Red Sox: Breslow heads to East Coast
The Red Sox are not afraid to make a bit of noise at the Trade Deadline, but on Tuesday, they basically stood pat.
Boston made two moves, but only one impacted its big league roster. The Sox beefed up their bullpen by acquiring left-hander Craig Breslow from the D-backs in exchange for reliever Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik.
"I was hoping to do more and do other things to help the team, but in the end, we'd prefer to not do things rather than make decisions that end up hurting us in the long run," general manager Ben Cherington said.
It could pave the way for Franklin Morales to be inserted back into Boston's starting rotation, as Breslow adds another left-handed option out of the bullpen. Morales is 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA in five starts this season.
"I think if he helps us win games, I'd like to see him in the rotation," Cherington said.
Porcello and Cook haven't faced each other's clubs this season. Porcello is 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in three career starts vs. Boston, while Cook is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in one start vs. Detroit.