Though the last-place Chicago White Sox have a dismal record within the AL Central, they're in position to sweep the division leaders at home for the first time in seven years.
Hoping John Danks can end his struggles versus Detroit, the White Sox try to accomplish that feat by handing the Tigers a fourth straight loss Wednesday.
Chicago (46-72) is 15-34 against Central opponents, including 7-17 at home where for only the second time this season it's won consecutive games against a division foe. The White Sox improved to 5-7 versus Detroit (69-49) with a 4-3, 11-inning win Tuesday.
The Tigers have dropped three straight and four of five following a season-high 12-game winning streak."We battled again," said Max Scherzer , who was denied his 18th win. "We're playing good baseball. We're playing hard. We're doing a lot of things right."
Chicago, which last swept a home series of at least three games against the Tigers from Aug. 11-13, 2006, has won six of nine on a 10-game stay at U.S. Cellular Field to secure its first winning homestand since it went 5-2 from May 20-27.
Alejandro De Aza delivered the winning single with the bases loaded for the White Sox, who could not hold a 3-1 lead. Avisail Garcia had a two-run double and also scored the winning run against his former team.
Acquired in the three-way deal that sent Jake Peavy to Boston, Garcia is 4 for 17 (.235) in five games for the White Sox.
"I'm just trying to do my job, play hard and do something good for my team," he said. "I'm trying to win games."
Danks (2-9, 4.52 ERA) dropped to 0-4 with a 9.79 ERA in his last five starts against the Tigers after yielding solo homers to Torii Hunter , Jose Iglesias and the suspended Jhonny Peralta over seven innings of a 3-0 loss at Comerica Park on Aug. 3.
All but one of the nine runs Danks has allowed in two starts versus Detroit this season have come via six homers.
The left-hander has served up 10 home runs while going 0-4 with a 4.66 ERA in his last seven starts overall. He gave up a solo shot, two other runs and set season highs with nine strikeouts and five walks in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 7-5 loss to Minnesota on Friday.
Prince Fielder is 5 for 9 with a homer against Danks. With two hits Tuesday, Fielder's hit .324 (11 for 34) the last seven games after going 6 for 41 (.146) the previous 11.
Scheduled Detroit starter Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.32) is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA in his last six starts. That stretch includes three outings versus Chicago where he's gone 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA.
The right-hander, who allowed four hits over seven scoreless of a 6-2 at win at U.S. Cellular on July 23, is 7-1 with a 2.33 ERA in his last 10 starts against the White Sox.
Detroit has gone to extra innings in each of his last two outings, including a 3-2, 12-inning home win over Chicago in which he gave up a solo homer to Adam Dunn over 7 2-3 innings Aug. 4.
He allowed three runs in five innings of a 4-3, 10-inning loss at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
Tigers star Miguel Cabrera went 0 for 5 to snap his four-game home-run stretch and 10-game hitting streak in which he batted .432 with 12 RBIs.
|Alejandro De Aza||13||.154||2||0||0||3||2||.313||.467||.154|
|August 11, 2013||Alex Avila||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 31, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained lower abdomen|
|July 31, 2013||Luis Marte||15-Day DL||Recovery from right shoulder surgery|
|July 25, 2013||Torii Hunter||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left Achilles|
|July 23, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 14, 2013||Justin Verlander||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right quadriceps tightness|
|Chicago White Sox|
|August 05, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||Day-to-Day||Jammed left thumb|
|July 30, 2013||Alex Rios||Day-to-Day||Left foot contusion|
|July 21, 2013||Gordon Beckham||Day-to-Day||Strained ligament, left wrist|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Miguel Cabrera probably shouldn't even have been playing Wednesday.
Hard to tell, though, after the aching slugger hit a majestic three-run homer in the third inning to spark the Detroit Tigers to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
With a day game following an extra-inning night game, and with a crucial five-game series against a division rival coming up this weekend, the rest would have been a prudent prescription for the leg injury Cabrera's been playing with for several days.
"He actually has a shin that's all black and blue," Jim Leyland said. "It terrible, it's terrible looking, but it actually looked a little bit better today. He's still pretty sore. As a manager, you almost feel bad playing him. I can tell that he's hurting, but he wanted to play today, so I put him in there."
Leyland certainly didn't feel bad about the decision afterward. The home run erased an early three-run deficit and gave the Tigers some much needed momentum.
"He's been banged up for about a week," teammate Torii Hunter said of Cabrera. "Miggy, instead of him having to run, he just hits the home run."
Cabrera has homered in five of the last six games.
Despite allowing a season-high 11 hits, Tigers starter Rick Porcello (9-6) allowed just three runs in six innings. Porcello hasn't lost a decision since June 30 at Tampa Bay.
Porcello got off to a miserable start, giving up three runs on four hits in the first inning. Worse, he needed 40 pitches to get the first three outs of the game. Avisail Garcia , and Conor Gillaspie had run-scoring singles, with the other run coming on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Keppinger .
After Cabrera tied the score with his 38th homer, the Tigers broke the game open in the top of the sixth, thanks to some clutch hitting and a White Sox miscue. Omar Infante drove in the go-ahead run with a single, and the final two runs came courtesy of an error by Gillaspie, the third baseman.
The White Sox added a run in the bottom of the eighth on a run-scoring single by Alexei Ramirez to make it 6-4.
Taking no chances, Leyland brought in closer Joaquin Benoit with one out in the eighth. Benoit then proceeded to strike out Adam Dunn and Garcia to end the inning without further damage. He worked out of another jam in the ninth inning for his 15th save in 15 chances.
Even though it occurred in the third inning, the talk of the postgame was Cabrera's homer off of White Sox starter John Danks (2-10).
"He was quick on it," Leyland said. "He just fired his hands - it looked like a cutter - and he just pulled his hands in and they were like lightening through the zone. He's remarkable."
Said Danks: "Bad pitch to him. I got him out the first time and I tried to go a little farther inside. I don't think it would have been called a strike."
The way Hunter sees it, that's the key. Pitchers don't want to throw Cabrera fat pitches in the strike zone. "Some of those pitches are balls and he's still hitting them out," Hunter said.
Cabrera, in his bid for an historic second straight Triple Crown, leads the American League in batting average (.360) and is in a tight battle with Baltimore's Chris Davis for home runs and RBIs. With his blast on Wednesday, Cabrera has 114 RBIs.
Hunter believes Cabrera is actually having a better season this year.
"No doubt," he said. "I wasn't here last year, but he's definitely better this year than last."
NOTES: Manager Robin Ventura gave White Sox veteran Paul Konerko the day off. "Guys at that age get a little tighter a day game after a night game," Ventura said. "Let him have a little spa day." . Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 11 games. . The White Sox open a series at Minnesota Thursday night with RHP Andre Rienzo (0-0) facing RHP Mike Pelfrey (7-11). The Tigers are home for the start of a five-game series with the Royals, with RHP Anibal Sanchez (10-7) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (12-8).