White Sox aim for strong finish, faceTigers next

The Chicago White Sox will try to maintain their recent success when they open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Monday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Chicago (55-82) has endured a difficult season but has played much better in the past few weeks. The White Sox are coming off a dominant 8-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday and have won seven of 10, 13 of 19 and 18 of 30.

“The second half has just been a whole different team,” said Daniel Palka, a rookie outfielder who slugged his 20th home run of the season in the series finale against Boston. “Same guys, things are just clicking more consistently.

“We are good despite what the record is. We are playing our best right now, and it’s showing off with these series records.”

Meanwhile, Detroit (55-82) comes to town sliding in the opposite direction. The Tigers have lost seven of their past nine but looked better Sunday with an 11-7 win over the New York Yankees.

Nicholas Castellanos shined in the victory by going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. He leads the team with 20 homers.

Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer (3-10, 4.71 ERA) will aim for his first victory since June 14 when he takes the mound for his 22nd start. Fulmer is 0-5 with a 5.90 ERA in his past seven starts but is feeling healthy after a stint on the disabled list.

“Just glad to be back,” Fulmer recently said to the Detroit Free Press. “Everything felt good (the last outing) — that’s the big thing. Mechanics still need some repetition, but for the most part, everything was a little better than it has been all year.”

In seven career starts against the White Sox, Fulmer is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He has walked 12 and fanned 28 in 42 2/3 innings.

The White Sox will counter with right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (5-9, 4.51 ERA), who will make his 28th start of the season. The 24-year-old is coming off one of his best performances of the year after limiting the Yankees to one run and five hits in seven innings.

Lopez is 1-1 with a 3.58 ERA in six career starts against the Tigers. He has walked 14 and struck out 21 in 37 2/3 innings.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he was proud of the way his team has played as of late.

“I think for all of us, the team, myself, the whole organization, we should feel really good about how they’re going about doing their business,” Renteria said. “I think we’ve talked about hopefully having them settle in and get a feel of who they are and what they’re capable of doing. We’ve played two pretty strong offensive clubs (in New York and Boston).

“The pitching, I still believe that on any given club, the pitching is the key to allowing you to have a chance to win. You get some timely hitting and or catch the ball, which you should, and minimize mistakes, you always give yourself a chance. Right now, our guys are doing a lot of those things.”