DETROIT -Now that the Chicago White Sox have snapped a six-game skid in the Motor City to kick off the second half of the season, they’re even more focused on a move up the AL Central standings.
After roughing up Detroit’s ace, the White Sox resume their weekend series with the Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
Chicago had little trouble against All-Star Justin Verlander, scoring five runs in six innings en route to an 8-2 win Friday night. Verlander had surrendered a total of seven runs while going 8-1 in his previous nine starts.
“Beating the best pitcher in baseball – that’s a good way to start the second half,” said Adam Dunn, who had a two-run single for Chicago.
Gavin Floyd allowed two runs in 7 2-3 innings, and Carlos Quentin had three hits and three RBIs for the White Sox (45-48), who moved within four games of the second-place Tigers and five in back of AL Central-leading Cleveland.
“We want to go to the playoffs. You’ve got to beat this team,” the White Sox’s Gordon Beckham said.
Chicago is 3-5 during a 19-game stretch against divisional opponents.
Miguel Cabrera finished with two hits, including the 1,500th of his career, as the Tigers (49-44) lost for the fifth time in seven games at Comerica Park. Detroit has been outscored 62-31 over that stretch.
Quentin is 1 for 12 (.083) with three strikeouts against Detroit’s Max Scherzer, who will be looking to win his third straight start against Chicago.
The right-hander fanned 11 over eight innings en route to a 9-2 road victory Sept. 17. He then surrendered four hits in eight innings of a 3-0 win against the White Sox on April 24.
Scherzer (10-4, 4.69 ERA) entered the midseason break on a winning note after holding Kansas City to a run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-1 victory July 7.
The White Sox’s Edwin Jackson returns to the site of his worst outing this season as he takes the mound.
Jackson (5-7, 4.30) was lit up for season highs of eight runs and 12 hits in a 9-0 loss April 23 in Detroit. He gave up two runs in six innings at home June 4 against the Tigers, but failed to get a decision in Chicago’s 4-2 defeat.
Though he’s gone at least six innings in each of his last seven starts, Jackson has posted a 1-2 record. He gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings of a 4-1 loss to Kansas City on July 6 in his final start before the break.
Cabrera is 7 for 27 (.259) with two RBIs off Jackson, but Magglio Ordonez is 7 for 15 (.467) with a homer and four RBIs against the right-hander.
Tigers second baseman Carlos Guillen will make his season debut after he missed 11 months with a knee injury that resulted in microfracture surgery. Headed into his 14th season, Guillen is a career .286 hitter with his best year coming in 2007, when he hit 21 homers with 102 RBIs.
“We’re bringing Carlos back to play second base,” general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “The reports are that he’s swinging the bat very well, and we think he can help us offensively. In the field, he can catch the ball and he can turn double plays. His range isn’t great, and we know that.”
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