Chicago is coming off its first two-game skid of the season and lost its first series in eight tries after a 2-1 defeat at Oakland on Wednesday. Paul Konerko drove in the only run for the White Sox, who committed late-inning fielding blunders that led to both losses.
“We will file this in the back of our heads and forget about it,” third baseman Joe Crede said. “Just go back home and try to win some ballgames.”
The White Sox, who open a six-game homestand, are one win shy of tying the team record for victories in April. Chicago won 17 in April 2000, the last year they won the AL Central.
The White Sox had won eight straight before their skid, and still boast a major league-best 16-6 mark.
The White Sox swept a two-game set from the Tigers last week, but Detroit has won four in a row since, including a 3-2 victory over Cleveland on Thursday.
The Tigers will start Nate Robertson on Friday. The 27-year-old left-hander led Detroit with 12 wins last season, but has not posted a victory since a 9-1 decision over Kansas City last Aug. 30, going 0-5 with a 7.07 ERA in his last nine starts.
Robertson is coming off back-to-back losses, including an 8-4 defeat to Baltimore on April 19. He gave up six runs and seven hits, including two homers, in just 3 1-3 innings.
“I thought he threw a lot of strikes. In terms of the ball-strike ratio, that was something I liked better,” Detroit manager Allan Trammell said of Robertson. “He improved there; it’s too early to come to any conclusions.”
This would have marked the first trip back to Chicago for Magglio Ordonez, who signed with Detroit as a free agent in the offseason. The four-time All-Star, though, is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks after having hernia surgery Wednesday.
Ordonez, who played for the White Sox from 1997-2004 but missed most of last season with a knee injury, called Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen his “enemy” last week and said he had no desire to see him.
Guillen shot back by saying Ordonez was “playing with fire” and he “better shut up and play,” according to reports in two Chicago newspapers.