LIVE: White Sox struggling against Tigers

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LIVE: White Sox struggling against Tigers

Monday, Sept. 12, 2011
Posted: 10:23 a.m.
Associated Press

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The Detroit Tigers began their nine-game win streak with a sweep of the Chicago White Sox to build a commanding AL Central lead. Now even bigger goals are within their reach.

The Tigers will try for their first 10-game streak in 43 years on Monday night when they open a three-game road series against the White Sox.

Detroit (84-62) led Chicago (73-72) and Cleveland by 5 12 games in the Central race before beginning a three-game home set Sept. 2 against the White Sox. The Tigers outscored Chicago 35-11 in sweeping that series and have not lost since.

The nine-game win streak matches Detroit's longest since the 1984 World Series champions won that many. The last time the Tigers won 10 in a row was an 11-game run Sept. 9-21, 1968 - the previous time they won the World Series before 1984.

Detroit's magic number to win the division is seven, and Chicago is merely looking to fare better than it did the last time these teams met.

"We have to go strong," manager Ozzie Guillen told MLB.com. "I hope they don't approach us the same way they did out there. Guys have to go out there and play. We have to go there and finish strong, but I don't see anything different. I hope we pitch better."

Detroit owns the second-best record among AL division leaders in the race for home-field advantage. The Tigers are also within striking distance of the East-leading Yankees for the league's best record.

Leadoff hitter Austin Jackson is batting .403 during a 15-game hitting streak against Chicago. Jackson went 9 for 15 with seven runs scored in the last series between these teams.

Catcher Alex Avila could be back in the lineup after he got a day off Sunday during a 2-1 win over Minnesota. Avila is a .382 hitter with eight RBIs against the White Sox this year.

Jose Valverde set a team record with his 43rd save Sunday after Doug Fister pitched seven scoreless innings.

"I'm happy," Valverde said. "My team is in first place, and that's what I want."

The Tigers have won 10 of the last 12 games started by Rick Porcello (13-8, 4.87 ERA), who will try to reverse his poor history against the White Sox. Porcello is 1-4 with a 7.46 ERA in six starts against Chicago.

The right-hander improved to 8-3 with a 4.01 ERA in 15 road starts after yielding one run over 6 1-3 innings last Tuesday in a 10-1 rout of Cleveland.

Chicago slugger Paul Konerko is 7 for 15 with a homer against Porcello. Konerko is one homer shy of his seventh season with at least 30 and two RBIs shy of reaching 100 for the sixth time.

White Sox left-hander John Danks (6-11, 4.09) has allowed 13 runs over 10 2-3 innings in losing his last two starts. He's 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in three outings against Detroit this year.

Magglio Ordonez is 16 for 32 with two homers against Danks. The former White Sox outfielder is batting .395 during an 11-game hitting streak.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tyler Saladino, Jose Abreu homer as White Sox tie Padres in Arizona finale

Tyler Saladino, Jose Abreu homer as White Sox tie Padres in Arizona finale

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tyler Saladino hit leadoff on Wednesday, finishing with a home run and a single.

Saladino's first-inning drive was one of eight combined homers hit between the White Sox and San Diego Padres, who finished in a 9-all tie at Camelback Ranch. Before the game, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said that Saladino, who finished 2-for-2, would see most of his playing time at second base.

"He's been developing and continuing to grow every single season," Renteria said. "The flexibility that he brings allows him to be in the lineup over an extended period of time. But we want to make sure we take care of him as we want to do with everybody else, kind of keep them all fresh as much as we can.

"He's developed into a pretty good major league baseball player."

Jose Abreu, Nick Delmonico and Jake Peter all homered for the White Sox. Delmonico led the White Sox with five homers this spring. Abreu went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs.

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Rule 5 pitcher Dylan Covey, who appears primed to make the Opening Day roster, allowed two earned runs in his lone inning pitched. Covey then headed to the bullpen and threw additional pitches there as the White Sox continue to build up his arm strength.

Veteran Anthony Swarzak allowed a run and struck out two in two innings. Reliever Dan Jennings allowed five runs (four earned) and four hits in 1/3 innings.

First-rounder Zack Collins drew a pair of walks in his only plate appearances and scored a run.

The White Sox ended the spring with a 16-15-2 record.

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

GLENDALE, Ariz. — With Zack Burdi headed for the minors, the White Sox 12-man pitching staff is all but set.

The Opening Day roster won't be finalized until Sunday and the White Sox hypothetically could find an attractive candidate to claim off the waiver wire over the weekend. But barring that, it looks as if veteran Anthony Swarzak and second-year reliever Michael Ynoa have made the team after Burdi said Wednesday morning that he'd start the season at Triple-A Charlotte. 

The No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com, Burdi finished the spring with a 6.75 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings. Burdi finished his Cactus League on a high note with three strikeouts over an inning on Tuesday, including one of Kansas City four-time All-Star catcher Salvador Perez. 

"Man, it's been crazy," Burdi said. "Coming in and being the young guy in the locker room and then just progressing and showing a little bit more (comfort) around the guys and the veterans and then just being able to pick their brains and go out every day and try to progress. You get to the innings and you are facing guys you've watched your last 10 years of your life. It has been crazy and definitely something I won't forget."

Burdi lasted the longest this spring out of the cache of highly-touted prospects the White Sox brought to big league camp. Prior to escaping a first-and-third, one-out jam Tuesday, Burdi looked like he would allow a run in a third straight game after a hot start to camp (he only allowed a run in one of his first 10 appearances). But Burdi battled back and struck out Perez on three pitches, one of two straight strikeouts to strand both runners.

Pitching coach Don Cooper has been impressed by Burdi throughout the spring. But he also wants to see the Louisville product continue to work on command in the minors.

"You can't not see his stuff," Cooper said. "Everybody gets excited when you see 99, 100, 101. But whether you throw it 101 or 83 like [Mark] Buehrle you have to throw it to the glove with command, change speeds and all that stuff. But he's a big part of our future going forward. He's one of the names."

Burdi said he plans to operate like he has already spring and not pay attention to any of the hype. Though he'd like to play in the majors, Burdi is excited to play alongside the likes of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer in Charlotte.

"Once you get a feel for all this stuff and you feel how cool it is to be in the locker room with all these guys and play with them, of course you want to get back up here," Burdi said. "But at the same time, a lot of my really good friends are on Charlotte and I couldn't be more excited to go down there and play with them and make the most of the season down there."