After Friday's 3-2 loss to the Marlins and an A's victory over the Mariners, the Tigers now know they'll be the third seed in the playoffs and start the ALDS on the road. On Saturday, it will be the final start of the season for Anibal Sanchez as he gears up for October baseball.
Sanchez will face the Marlins for the first time after spending the first 6 1/2 seasons of his career with the club. Sanchez, who can end the season with the lowest ERA in the AL with a strong start, lost his first decision in 12 starts on Sunday. He gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings to the White Sox.
"I think for me, it was just one pitch, one pitch against [Conor] Gillaspie," Sanchez said after his last start. "He hit it hard, he brought in a couple runs and then Avisail [Garcia], he got a good game today. So I think in the end, you have to give credit to [the White Sox]."
The Marlins will send out right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings, scattering three hits while striking out five on Monday against the Phillies. In his last six starts, Eovaldi is 2-3 with a 2.70 ERA and has held opponents to two runs or less in five of those outings.
"He's got a power arm," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He just needs to continue to make progress with his off-speed pitches. He's a front-line type of pitcher. He has the stuff to be a front-line type of pitcher. You think of moving forward and establishing a pitching staff and starting staff, it's pretty nice knowing you have two guys, like Jose Fernandez and Eovaldi at the top of your rotation."
Tigers: Porcello moved to the bullpen
Rick Porcello was scratched from his start on Friday as he prepares for his postseason role out of the bullpen.
Porcello entered in the third inning with the bases loaded, and gave up a bases-clearing double to Giancarlo Stanton. He struck out one over a scoreless 1 1/3 innings.
"I'd like to give him a couple days during this series to come in out of the bullpen, just to get him acclimated to it, depending on how it goes," manager Jim Leyland said. "He has done it before, a little, and that's really not the reason [we moved him]. He's just the guy that we all agreed on would go to the bullpen. He's well aware of it. He's all for it. He's very supportive of it, which I appreciate."
The Tigers do not have a rotation order yet for next week's Division Series, and Leyland warned he probably won't have that anytime soon.
• Miguel Cabrera will play in Saturday's game before sitting out the regular-season finale on Sunday. Leyland originally thought about resting Cabrera for more games this weekend, but Cabrera wanted to play.
"I had a day off yesterday. If we counted these three games off, it would've been four, plus four more," Cabrera said. "It's going to be eight days. That's too many days off. I prefer to play [Friday] and [Saturday] and try to have five days off and be ready for the playoffs."
• Playing for the left field for the first time in his career, Jhonny Peralta went 1-for-4 with an RBI double in his first game back with the Tigers after serving a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis investigation.
Marlins: Mathis out for the season
Jeff Mathis will miss the remaining two games of the season with a fracture to his right thumb.
Mathis bruised the thumb while blocking a pitch on Sept. 9, and an initial X-ray came back negative. After appearing in seven games before feeling more discomfort, a second X-ray on Sept. 24 detected a fracture.
Koyie Hill filled in for Mathis on Friday, while the Marlins also have Rob Brantly as an option to catch. Mathis missed the first month of the season with a right collarbone fracture.
• Placido Polanco is 9-for-21 (.429) against Sanchez with two home runs and four RBIs in his career.
• Miami's closer Steve Cishek nailed down his franchise-record 29th consecutive save on Friday, pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.