Sunday, April 24, 2011
Posted: 10:17 a.m.
The Detroit Tigers are closing in on their longest stretch of dominance over the Chicago White Sox in 88 years.
Judging by the White Sox's recent struggles, the Tigers stand a good chance of accomplishing that and sweeping a three-game series from their AL Central rivals Sunday at Comerica Park.
Detroit is above .500 for the first time this season, thanks to eight wins in 11 games. The Tigers have outscored the White Sox 18-3 in two games this weekend and 62-20 during eight consecutive wins in the overall series.
Detroit (11-10) hasn't won nine in a row against Chicago (8-13) since a 10-game run during the 1923 season.
The White Sox, meanwhile, have been outscored 53-25 while dropping nine of 10 overall. Chicago, which has batted .195 during that slump, mustered just five hits in a 9-0 loss Saturday.
"We need to cut this off right now," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It seems like we are waiting every day to lose the game. It is time to show people how good we are."
Ryan Raburn drove in three runs to help the Tigers win their third straight, and has seven RBIs in this series. Detroit has totaled 27 hits in the two games with catcher Alex Avila recording five - three for extra bases.
Former Arizona first-round draft pick Max Scherzer (3-0, 4.30 ERA) will toe the rubber Sunday looking to continue his recent strong performance. He is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his last three starts, lasting six innings in each.
Scherzer gave up two runs and six hits and struck out seven in Monday's 8-3 win at Seattle, but also walked a season-high four batters. Those free passes helped Scherzer reach 112 pitches over his six frames, which was too inefficient for manager Jim Leyland's liking.
"A guy like Max should get you into the seventh or eighth inning all the time," Leyland said.
Scherzer pitched through the eighth inning in his last matchup with the White Sox on Sept. 17, allowing two solo homers in a 9-2 victory. He's 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA in four career meetings.
He'll be opposed by John Danks (0-2, 3.00), who is still seeking his first win of the season, despite allowing two runs or fewer in three of his four outings.
The White Sox have given Danks only one run of support in each of his two losses, including a 2-1 defeat in Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
The left-hander gave up two runs and struck out seven over seven innings in that game.
"(Our starters) make one mistake, they could lose the game," Guillen said after that loss. "You have to make every pitch count. You can not have the luxury to make a bad pitch. Obviously, you put more pressure on (the starters)."
Danks was tagged for seven runs over 6 1-3 innings in his last matchup with the Tigers, a 9-7 home loss in 11 innings Sept. 19. He's 3-4 with a 4.12 ERA in 11 career starts against Detroit.
Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez is 14 for 23 with two homers and four doubles off Danks.
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