Tigers travel to Chicago to battle White Sox

By Derick Hutchinson, ClickOnDetroit.com
Published On: Jun 09 2014 03:25:46 PM EDT
Detroit Tigers vs Chicago White Sox American League Central Division rivals
CHICAGO, Ill. -

The Detroit Tigers (33-26) will try to bounce back from a heartbreaking 5-3 loss on Sunday night as they travel to Chicago to battle the division-rival White Sox (31-33).

Detroit swept a short two-game series in Chicago in late April, including a win over Monday's scheduled starter, Hector Noesi. In that start, the first of the season for the 27-year-old, the Tigers scored four runs in 3 2/3 innings and handed him his second loss of the season. The top of the order was responsible for most of the damage done against Noesi, as the first four hitters combined for six hits.

Noesi will battle Detroit's Rick Porcello, who took a tough loss in his last appearance against the Toronto Blue Jays. Porcello allowed three runs in seven innings but was tagged with his second loss in three starts.

The 25-year-old is the only pitcher on the Tigers' roster to record a decision in every single start this season. Porcello owns an 8-3 record and a respectable 3.69 ERA through those 11 starts. Though he hasn't faced the White Sox this season, he owns a 9-5 career record against them, including 4-0 in six starts last year.

Gordon Beckham and Paul Konerko have owned Porcello in their careers, combining for a .377 average (26/69), seven doubles, 10 RBI and two home runs. Chicago's team leader in average, Alexei Ramirez, hits just .170 (8/47) against Porcello.

Despite the ninth-inning loss on Sunday night, the Tigers won their first series in six tries over the weekend. In fact, the Tigers hadn't won a series since sweeping those same Red Sox in Fenway Park from May 16-18.

Now, after playing 17 straight games against non-divisional foes, the Tigers will play their next 14 within the AL Central, which has tightened up considerably in the past few weeks. Detroit owned a seven-game lead on May 18, but now leads the second-place Cleveland Indians by just three games.

View: MLB Standings

The Tigers hope that the bottom of the order can stay hot in Chicago against a largely weak starting rotation. Third baseman Nick Castellanos has been a terror at the plate in six June games, hitting .545 with three extra-base hits. His teammate, center fielder Austin Jackson, is hitting .538 in his last four games after starting the month 0-9.

Detroit will play four night games, all with first pitch at 8:10, in this series against Chicago before returning to Comerica Park for a seven-game home stand.

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