MLB

White Sox-Tigers Preview

James Shields is returning to the AL Central. The Chicago White Sox may wish they could leave.

One day after acquiring the veteran pitcher, slumping Chicago tries to stop an eight-game losing streak in division play Sunday against the Detroit Tigers.

Mired in a near month-long tailspin that's negated a 23-10 start, the White Sox made an effort to bring a needed spark by obtaining Shields from San Diego on Saturday in exchange for Triple-A pitcher Erik Johnson and 17-year-old prospect Fernando Tatis Jr.

The 34-year-old Shields went 27-17 with a 3.18 ERA with Kansas City from 2013-14, though he's just 2-7 this season and was tagged for 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings in his last start Tuesday at Seattle.

"We're pleased to add a starter of James Shields' caliber," general manager Rick Hahn said. "He has proven to be one of the most dependable and durable pitchers in the major leagues over his career."

Chicago's rotation ranks near the top of the AL with a 3.64 ERA but has seen its ace struggle of late. Chris Sale was denied in his third attempt at a 10th victory after allowing four runs in 6 1/3 innings of Saturday's 7-4 defeat to the Tigers - the ninth loss in 11 games for the White Sox.

Jose Quintana (5-5, 2.13 ERA) enters the finale of this three-game set having lost four consecutive starts, though he's received just three runs of support during the skid. He was on the wrong end of a 1-0 result Monday against the New York Mets after surrendering Neil Walker's solo homer in the seventh inning.

"If we could score, he'd have a better record," manager Robin Ventura said. "Everybody would know his name."

Quintana now faces an opponent he went winless against in five 2015 meetings while recording a 5.59 ERA. The left-hander did deliver the best of those starts Sept. 22 at Comerica Park, where he held the Tigers to one run through seven innings while again being victimized by a lack of offense.

He'll try to cool off a Detroit lineup that's racked up 17 runs and 25 hits over the first two games. J.D. Martinez went 2 for 3 with three RBIs Saturday and put the Tigers ahead with a two-run homer off Sale in the sixth inning.

"When we made Sale throw 30-some pitches in the first inning, I was encouraged, because we thought there would be a (weather) delay at some point," manager Brad Ausmus said. "It never got that bad, but we beat him anyway."

Cameron Maybin added three hits and two RBIs and is hitting .418 since returning from a broken wrist May 16. Victor Martinez, batting a AL-leading .349, owns a .412 average with four homers and 12 RBIs over his last 13 games and is 13 for 30 against Quintana.

Detroit (27-28) aims for its first three-game sweep of Chicago since Aug. 2-4, 2013, while Justin Verlander (4-5, 4.11) looks to continue his recent dominance in this series. The six-time All-Star is 16-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 22 meetings with the White Sox since 2009, including a 10-2 mark at home.

Verlander also comes into this matchup in good form, having posted a 1.91 ERA over his last five starts and pitching at least seven innings in each. He carried a shutout into the eighth Monday against the Angels before allowing four runs in a 5-1 defeat.

Chicago could again be sending out a short-handed outfield after rookie Jason Coats exited Saturday's game following a collision with teammate J.B. Shuck. Melky Cabrera is away from the team to deal with a family emergency and Austin Jackson has missed five straight with a toe injury.

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