Adam Bernero, the only Detroit pitcher without a win this season, hopes to end his slide and help the major league-worst Tigers complete a sweep of the struggling Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Tigers have lost all nine of Bernero’s starts, with the right-hander going 0-6.
Bernero gave up three earned runs and five hits over six innings Tuesday, leaving the game with a 4-3 lead over Cleveland. But the Detroit bullpen squandered the advantage in a 6-4 setback to the Indians.
“I cannot stand losing,” said Bernero, who watched rotation mate Mike Maroth post his first won of the year in Friday’s series opener.
The Tigers closed in on their first sweep in Chicago since April 6-8, 2001 after Saturday’s 1-0 victory.
Detroit, which is also looking to match its season-high four-game winning streak from May 4-7, got its lone run on Omar Infante’s sacrifice fly in the third as Gary Knotts and Franklyn German combined on a three-hitter.
The White Sox have lost six of eight, scoring more than three runs just twice during that span.
“It’s not early, we are starting to get too far behind,” said White Sox first baseman Brian Daubach, whose team slipped 5 1/2 games behind first-place Minnesota in the AL Central. “Everybody is pressing a little bit, trying to be the hero and not letting things happen.”
Chicago’s Magglio Ordonez is riding a nine-game hitting streak, batting .324 (11-for-34) with four RBIs, two doubles and a triple during his run.
Ordonez, who finished sixth in the AL with 38 homers in 2002, has seven this season, but none since May 8, a stretch of 50 at-bats.
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 15 GB, AL Central. White Sox - 3rd place, 5 1/2 GB, AL Central.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Bernero (0-6, 5.87 ERA). Bernero suffered a 5-0 loss to the White Sox on April 11, giving up three earned runs and six hits over seven innings. He is 1-3 with a 5.65 ERA in seven career appearances, including four starts, against the White Sox.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Dan Wright (0-2, 6.59 ERA). Wright, who won a career-high 14 games last season, has struggled since being activated from the DL with right elbow inflammation on May 6. The 25-year-old right-hander has pitched more than four innings just once in his three starts while allowing at least four earned runs twice. In losing 12-2 to visiting Toronto on Monday, Wright lasted just three innings, issuing three walks and giving up five earned runs and six hits, including two homers. Wright is 4-1 with a 3.66 ERA in six career starts against Detroit.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Bobby Higginson, .274 avg., 24 runs and 5 SBs; Dmitri Young and Carlos Pena, 6 HRs; Young, 24 RBIs. White Sox - D’Angelo Jimenez, .286 avg.; Frank Thomas and Jose Valentin, 9 HRs; Ordonez, 29 RBIs, 24 runs and 4 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: White Sox, 5-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - 1B Pena is batting .325 (13-for-40) with three homers, three doubles and eight RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak. … Detroit was swept in Chicago from April 4-6, getting outscored 22-4. … C Inge is 2-for-17 on the road this season. White Sox - Mired in an 0-for-20 slump, OF Carlos Lee left Saturday’s game in the seventh inning after being hit in the head with a pitch. Lee walked off the field under his own power. … DH Thomas is hitting .156 with runners in scoring position. … The White Sox drew 27,533 fans Saturday, their second-largest crowd of the season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 9-18 on the road; White Sox - 15-12 at home.