Tigers-White Sox Preview
Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox
- The Tigers went 4-2 against the White Sox in April, improving to 51-28 versus Chicago since 2010. The 51 wins are the most by any team in an AL Central division rivalry over that span.
- Detroit squandered a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning and lost to Boston on Sunday, 5-3. It was the Tigers' third loss this season when leading after eight innings. Only Pittsburgh (4) has endured more such defeats.
- The White Sox dropped all three games to the Angels this weekend, suffering their first three-game sweep of 2014. White Sox starting pitchers compiled a 9.00 ERA while lasting 5.0 innings per start in the series.
- Miguel Cabrera left Sunday's game due to a hamstring injury in the sixth inning. He's reportedly day-to-day. Cabrera currently leads the majors with a .434 batting average with runners on base, and with a mark of .429 with runners in scoring position.
- After going 0-4 with a 10.86 ERA through his first four career starts against the White Sox, Rick Porcello is 9-1 with a 2.36 ERA over his last 13 efforts versus Chicago. The nine victories are Porcello's most against any opponent in his career.
- Dayan Viciedo snapped an 0-for-24 drought with a single and a double on Sunday. The two hits lifted his average in day games to .351 this season, compared to just .215 at night.
- Bumgarner 1-hits Rockies, strikes out 13
- Pirates top Cardinals but lose McCutchen
- Porcello wins 15th, Yanks' run ends at 5
- Gordon's 2-run walkoff HR lifts Royals
- Trout, Shoemaker lead Angels by Marlins
By NOEY KUPCHAN
(AP) -- If not the best hitter in all of baseball, Miguel Cabrera has to at least be considered the most dangerous slugger in the AL Central.
Cuban sensation Jose Abreu, though, isn't far behind.
Abreu and the Chicago White Sox try to sweep a rain-shortened three-game home set against Cabrera and the slumping Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.
Chicago (33-33) finds itself 2 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit (33-28) after winning 8-2 on Wednesday. Abreu went 3 for 4 with his 19th homer as the White Sox improved to 6-2 over their last eight at home.
Abreu, who also homered in Monday's 6-5 victory before Tuesday's game was postponed, now leads the AL with a .627 slugging percentage. He is batting .323 with four home runs and eight RBIs in eight games since coming off the disabled list with an ankle issue.
Cabrera is 8 for 16 with five extra-base hits - one homer - during a four-game stretch. However, the Tigers have lost three straight and 16 of 22 since May 19, tied for the worst mark in the AL during that time.
Detroit is 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position over the last two games.
"It's kind of everything that can go wrong is going wrong, not just for myself, but for this team," Wednesday's losing pitcher Justin Verlander said after allowing seven runs. "But we'll battle through it."
Detroit will try to get on track behind Max Scherzer (7-2, 3.38 ERA), who owns a 6.84 ERA in his last four starts. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner allowed four runs and 11 hits over 6 2-3 innings but earned the victory in Saturday's 8-6 win over Boston.
Scherzer threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of 31 hitters while striking out nine and walking one.
"When you're filling it up and attacking the zone, you're going to have success," he told MLB's official website. "Four runs, that happens, but you turn the page and move on. If I keep doing this, good things are going to happen."
The right-hander is 7-1 with a 2.18 ERA during a nine-start stretch against the White Sox, which includes a 1.50 ERA in two wins this season. He's baffled Alexei Ramirez over the years, holding him to five hits in 47 at-bats. Adam Dunn is 9 for 40 with three homers and 19 strikeouts in their matchups, and Abreu is 1 for 6.
Chris Sale (5-0, 2.06) carried a shutout into the eighth inning Saturday before allowing a season-high five runs in a 6-5 road defeat to the Los Angeles Angels. The left-hander's night came to an end after serving up a grand slam to Mike Trout.
"He just goes and pitches," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Sale. "He's a high intensity guy, a lot of emotion. He separates it pretty good."
Sale would appear to have a good chance to bounce back at home, where he's gone 4-0 with a major league-best 0.59 WHIP and 46 strikeouts over six starts spanning 37 1-3 innings. The two-time All-Star has compiled a 0.72 ERA and 0.32 WHIP in his last four on the South Side while allowing four hits in 25 innings.
Sale went 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA in his last three 2013 outings against the Tigers. Austin Jackson is 2 for 30 with 12 strikeouts in their matchups, but Victor Martinez is 12 for 22.
Updated June 12, 2014