Esteban Loaiza looks to beat Detroit for the third time this season, and get his first win in more than two weeks as the Chicago White Sox try to avoid a three-game sweep by the lowly Tigers at Comerica Park.
Loaiza beat the Tigers in his first two starts of the season, and has fared well against them in his career, going 8-3 with a 2.71 ERA in 12 starts and two relief appearances.
However, he has struggled of late, dropping consecutive starts for the first time this season. He gave up seven earned runs and 17 hits over 14 innings spanning his last two outings. That followed a stretch in which he was 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in six starts.
Loaiza will also try to end the White Sox’s recent struggles, as they have lost four of five after winning nine of 12. However, the losses have been by a total of five runs. After a pair of one-run losses at Tampa Bay during the weekend, Chicago dropped the opener of this series 2-1 on Tuesday and then the middle game 4-2 Wednesday.
“Getting beat by those two teams—it hurts you,” White Sox shortstop Jose Valentin said. “Nothing against them, but if you look at their records, they are the two worst teams in baseball. The way we were playing after we beat teams like Boston and Minnesota, there’s no way we would lose to these two teams.”
The Tigers will be looking for their second sweep of the season, and first since May 5-7 at Baltimore. Detroit will also try to win four of five for the first time since May 22-26. The Tigers’ best stretch of the season was a four-game win streak May 4-7.
Detroit, which won two of three against Kansas City from June 30 to July 2, has clinched just its second home series win of the year.
“It took us until July to win one, and now we’ve won two in a row,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “This is a great feeling.”
Nate Cornejo, who will start for Detroit, is 0-5 with a 6.42 ERA since he was 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA on May 11. Cornejo has given up six earned runs in four of his last five starts.
STANDINGS: White Sox - 3rd place, 6 GB, AL Central. Tigers - 5th place, 25 1/2 GB, AL Central.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Loaiza (11-4, 2.28 ERA). The right-hander didn’t pitch too badly in his last start, giving up three runs and eight hits over seven innings in a 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Saturday.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Cornejo (3-7, 4.81 ERA). The 23-year-old right-hander is facing the White Sox for the third time this season, after having split his first two starts of the season against them. He gave up four runs and six hits over just 1 1-3 innings in a 5-2 loss at U.S. Cellular Field on April 4, and then limited Chicago to one run and seven hits in six innings of a 4-3 win on April 12.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: White Sox - Magglio Ordonez, .286 avg.; Frank Thomas, 20 HRs; Carl Everett, 52 RBIs and 55 runs; Carlos Lee, 8 SBs. Tigers - Dmitri Young, .291 avg., 17 HRs, 48 RBIs and 46 runs; Alex Sanchez, 15 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: White Sox, 6-5.
STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - 2B Roberto Alomar is 6-for-25 (.240) in six games with the White Sox since being acquired from the New York Mets on July 1. … Since going hitless in four straight games—May 30 to June 3—OF Ordonez has hit safely in 25 of 31 games. Tigers - OF Young is 1-for-14 (.071) against RHP Loaiza. … SS Ramon Santiago went 2-for-4 Wednesday, after going 8-for-52 (.163) in his previous 18 games. … 2B Warren Morris went 3-for-4 Wednesday, raising his average to .304.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 17-28 on the road; Tigers - 10-33 at home.
INJURIES: White Sox - LHP Kelly Wunsch (strained left side), 15-day DL. Tigers - OF Bobby Higginson (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Danny Patterson (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Dean Palmer (shoulder/neck), 60-day DL.