Tigers-White Sox Preview

The Detroit Tigers began their nine-game win streak with a sweep
of the Chicago White Sox to build a commanding AL Central lead. Now
even bigger goals are within their reach.

The Tigers will try for their first 10-game streak in 43 years
on Monday night when they open a three-game road series against the
White Sox.

Detroit (84-62) led Chicago (73-72) and Cleveland by 5 1/2 games
in the Central race before beginning a three-game home set Sept. 2
against the White Sox. The Tigers outscored Chicago 35-11 in
sweeping that series and have not lost since.

The nine-game win streak matches Detroit’s longest since the
1984 World Series champions won that many. The last time the Tigers
won 10 in a row was an 11-game run Sept. 9-21, 1968 – the previous
time they won the World Series before 1984.

Detroit’s magic number to win the division is seven, and Chicago
is merely looking to fare better than it did the last time these
teams met.

“We have to go strong,” manager Ozzie Guillen told MLB.com. “I
hope they don’t approach us the same way they did out there. Guys
have to go out there and play. We have to go there and finish
strong, but I don’t see anything different. I hope we pitch
better.”

Detroit owns the second-best record among AL division leaders in
the race for home-field advantage. The Tigers are also within
striking distance of the East-leading Yankees for the league’s best
record.

Leadoff hitter Austin Jackson is batting .403 during a 15-game
hitting streak against Chicago. Jackson went 9 for 15 with seven
runs scored in the last series between these teams.

Catcher Alex Avila could be back in the lineup after he got a
day off Sunday during a 2-1 win over Minnesota. Avila is a .382
hitter with eight RBIs against the White Sox this year.

Jose Valverde set a team record with his 43rd save Sunday after
Doug Fister pitched seven scoreless innings.

“I’m happy,” Valverde said. “My team is in first place, and
that’s what I want.”

The Tigers have won 10 of the last 12 games started by Rick
Porcello (13-8, 4.87 ERA), who will try to reverse his poor history
against the White Sox. Porcello is 1-4 with a 7.46 ERA in six
starts against Chicago.

The right-hander improved to 8-3 with a 4.01 ERA in 15 road
starts after yielding one run over 6 1-3 innings last Tuesday in a
10-1 rout of Cleveland.

Chicago slugger Paul Konerko is 7 for 15 with a homer against
Porcello. Konerko is one homer shy of his seventh season with at
least 30 and two RBIs shy of reaching 100 for the sixth time.

White Sox left-hander John Danks (6-11, 4.09) has allowed 13
runs over 10 2-3 innings in losing his last two starts. He’s 1-1
with a 6.48 ERA in three outings against Detroit this year.

Magglio Ordonez is 16 for 32 with two homers against Danks. The
former White Sox outfielder is batting .395 during an 11-game
hitting streak.

Chicago right fielder Carlos Quentin should return in this
series after being activated from the disabled list Monday, though
he wasn’t in the starting lineup. Quentin, who had been out with a
sprained shoulder, is second on the White Sox with 24 homers and 77
RBIs.