White Sox-Tigers Preview
If the past six-plus weeks are any indication, the Detroit Tigers should have a good chance to string together some victories after ending another skid.
The Tigers can start Thursday in the decisive series finale against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
Detroit (58-46) totaled six runs during a four-game losing streak that ended Wednesday when it equaled that output in the first inning of a 7-2 victory. The AL Central-leading Tigers have managed to bounce back nicely from recent losing streaks.
They followed a three-game slide June 16-18 by winning seven straight and 12 of 14. After another three-game skid July 4-6, Detroit won five in a row. It followed that with four consecutive losses before winning four of five prior to its latest slide.
"You've got to learn from bumps in the roads and take it with you in the future to prepare yourself better for the next group," scheduled starter Drew Smyly told MLB's official website. "You lose a game, it's no big deal. We'll get 'em tomorrow."
Nick Castellanos hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs on Wednesday after being scratched a day earlier due to a finger injury suffered in batting practice. The rookie is batting .417 with five extra-base hits and seven RBIs in his last six home games.
Torii Hunter is batting .467 with 14 RBIs in his past 12 at Comerica Park after collecting three hits Wednesday.
Smyly (6-9, 3.77 ERA) is coming off solid outings against two of baseball's highest-scoring teams. After holding Cleveland to a run and four hits in seven innings of a 5-1 win July 20, the left-hander yielded two runs and struck out 11 in 5 2-3 innings of a 2-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.
Smyly didn't get a decision in his lone matchup with the White Sox (52-56) this year, allowing only a two-run homer to Jose Abreu and striking out seven in six innings of a 6-4 loss April 23.
The Cuban rookie is batting .385 during a 19-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 37 of 38. He's batted .357 with five homers and five doubles in 11 games versus Detroit.
John Danks (9-6, 4.40) is scheduled to start for the White Sox, assuming he isn't shipped elsewhere amid rumors he could be traded before Thursday's deadline.
"I don't get caught up in any of that, I really don't," said Danks, who has spent his entire eight-year career with Chicago. "I have no control over that.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 3.51 ERA in his last four road starts after winning at Minnesota on Friday, when he gave up four runs in seven innings of a 9-5 victory. That came five days after Houston ripped him for seven runs and 12 hits in 4 1-3 innings.
"It's certainly a humbling game," Danks said. "There was a day when I felt like if I didn't get to certain plateaus, it would be a bad season, and now I'm excited to get back to where I think I was."
He's won both of his starts against Detroit this year, yielding three runs in 13 1-3 innings, even though Castellanos is 3 for 5 against him. Danks had a 6.28 ERA during a five-start skid at Comerica Park that ended when he gave up a run in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-1 victory April 21.
Austin Jackson is batting .381 with two doubles and three home runs off Danks.