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White Sox-Tigers Preview

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When the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers met two months ago, the White Sox were an afterthought in the AL Central. Now it's Detroit that is quickly falling out of contention.

The division-leading White Sox open a four-game series against the slumping Tigers with a day-night doubleheader Tuesday.

Chicago (59-45) began its turnaround when it won two of three against Detroit (52-52) from June 8-10. The White Sox would eventually erase a 9 1/2-game deficit to take the division lead moving before the All-Star break.

It won two of three against Oakland over the weekend, capping a 6-1 homestand with a 4-1 victory Sunday.

Despite the improved play, the White Sox have struggled against the AL Central. They are 17-20 against their own division, including a 7-12 record on the road. Chicago, however, won its only game at Detroit on May 18.

The White Sox will try to improve on that division record against a Detroit team that has dropped 15 of 19 and is seven games behind Chicago in the Central.

"We've just got to go out and play," Jeremy Bonderman, who will start the nightcap Tuesday, told the Tigers' official website. "You want to gain some ground, but you want to go out and play well every time you play. This is an opportunity for us to gain ground without having help. We can go out and control our own destiny."

The Tigers lost two of three at Boston over the weekend, falling 4-3 on Sunday. Reliever Robbie Weinhardt threw away Marco Scutaro's bunt in the ninth, allowing the winning run to score.

Detroit will face another tough matchup in Mark Buehrle (9-8, 4.15 ERA), who starts the opener for Chicago.

Buehrle is 6-2 with a 2.74 ERA in his last nine starts, with Chicago winning seven.

The left-hander wasn't sharp his last time out, giving up five runs and nine hits in five innings against Seattle on Wednesday, but the White Sox eventually won 6-5. He didn't factor in the decision.

Making his first start against the Tigers this season, Buehrle is 14-8 with a 2.99 ERA lifetime against them. He hasn't faced them in Detroit since 2008.

Rick Porcello (4-9, 5.50) will counter for the Tigers, trying for his first win in more than two months. He is 0-5 with a 5.40 ERA in his last seven starts, although Detroit has scored eight runs in the last five.

Porcello struck out a season-high eight but allowed four runs in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 9.77 ERA against the White Sox, giving up 12 runs over 10 1-3 innings in two losses this year.

Paul Konerko is 4 for 8 with two doubles against Porcello.

The Tigers will hand the ball to Bonderman (5-6, 5.05) in the night game.

Bonderman is 2-2 with a 7.29 ERA in his last six starts. He gave up four runs and eight hits while striking out six in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-5 win over Toronto on July 25. He didn't factor in the decision.

The right-hander has lost his last fours starts against the White Sox and is 5-10 with a 4.79 ERA against them in his career.

Rather than disrupting their rotation, the White Sox have elected to bring up Carlos Torres from Triple-A Charlotte to make his season debut.

The right-hander was 1-2 with a 6.65 ERA in five starts last season. He made a one-inning relief appearance against the Tigers in 2009, giving up two hits.

Tagged: White Sox, Tigers, Mark Buehrle, Jeremy Bonderman, Rick Porcello

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