Liriano, however, received a potential break when the Sox used Santiago in relief in the fifth inning Wednesday night. Liriano could take Santiago's start Friday night.
Nevertheless, Liriano will need to be more effective after failing to retire any of the three batters he faced in relief Tuesday. The Sox initially had projected him to return to the rotation against the Twins.
Liriano walked 15 in his last three starts, and he hit a batter and allowed two hits against the Tigers in his first relief outing for the Sox.
Liriano, acquired from the Twins on July 28 for infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-hander Pedro Hernandez, said he was frustrated by his inability to throw strikes and admitted he was a little uncomfortable entering with a one-run deficit in the eighth.
"I've been in that situation before, but just when we're losing by a lot or winning by a lot," said Liriano, who pitched briefly in relief for the Twins this year. "I'd come in and throw one or two innings. (Tuesday) was different for me."
Sale sticks with plan: Chris Sale won't change his game plan against the Tigers on Thursday night after keeping them off balance in a Sept. 2 start until Delmon Young golfed a slider for a three-run home run in the sixth inning of a 4-2 Sox loss.
Sale said he has felt confident mixing his pitches since April 25 at Oakland, where he limited the A's to two runs in eight innings.
"It's been working for me lately, so we'll stick with that," Sale said.
Guillen's return? According to the tentative 2013 schedule released Wednesday, the Sox will play host to the Marlins and former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on May 24-26. They will open the season at home April 1 against the Royals and play host to the Cubs on May 27-28 before heading to Wrigley Field on May 29-30.
The other tentative home interleague opponents are the Mets (June 25-26) and Braves (July 19-21), and the Sox will visit the Nationals (April 9-11), Mets (May 7-8) and Phillies (July 12-14).
Danks' destiny: John Danks reported progress in his recovery from left shoulder surgery.
"It has been a big week, in terms of my restrictions have been lifted," said Danks, who underwent surgery five weeks ago. "I'll try to push it further each day. Not a whole lot of stuff with weights. Just range of motion and trying to get my easy movement back."