MLB

Tigers-White Sox Preview

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn expressed optimism for his team's future earlier this week even after a winless road trip that seemed to put manager Robin Ventura's future in doubt.

A pair of wins over AL Central rival Detroit, including a stunning comeback in the latest game, has likely brightened the mood on the South Side.

The White Sox will try to lift those spirits even more by completing their first three-game home sweep of the Tigers in nine seasons Thursday.

Expected to contend for the division title, Chicago was 8-14 after going 0-5 on a trek that included two postponements and a game played in front of zero fans because of the unrest in Baltimore.

"This team is far, far better than what we've seen the last few days," Hahn said after that trip. "Based on the rotation we put together, based upon this lineup, we feel there are far, far better days ahead."

The White Sox snapped that skid with a 5-2 win in Tuesday's series opener before rallying from a three-run deficit in the eighth for a 7-6 victory the next day. Melky Cabrera provided a three-run homer and Avisail Garcia singled home the go-ahead run, all with two outs in the inning.

"It definitely feels good," pitcher Chris Sale said. "When you're down in the dumps then all of a sudden you turn it around and you win a game like we did tonight, I think it's going to help our morale, our mentality and give us a little jolt going forward."

The White Sox (10-14) will try to take all three games at U.S. Cellular Field over the Tigers (17-11) for the first time since Aug. 11-13, 2006, and they'll likely need a better effort from Jose Quintana (1-2, 5.28 ERA) against Detroit.

The left-hander was charged with a career-worst nine runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings in a 9-1 road loss to the Tigers on April 19. He's gone 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two subsequent outings and gave up one run in seven innings in a 1-0 loss at Minnesota on Friday.

Quintana is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five career home matchups against Detroit and will pitch opposite Kyle Lobstein (2-2, 3.91) in this one. The Tigers left-hander couldn't overcome a difficult first inning in Friday's 4-1 loss at Kansas City.

Lobstein gave up three runs after getting the first two outs of that game then allowed one over his next 6 1-3 innings.

Lobstein, the replacement for an injured Justin Verlander, could have been skipped in the rotation after Monday's off day, but manager Brad Ausmus chose to keep his pitchers in the same order.

"He's pitched well," Ausmus told MLB's official website. "Even (Friday), you thought he was in trouble early and he kept the Royals right where they were. So he certainly has earned a little bit (of breathing room), I think."

Lobstein was a 2-0 loser in his only start against Chicago on Sept. 22, giving up two runs in seven innings.

The White Sox are batting .199 against left-handers for one of the majors' worst marks.

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