The last time the Chicago White Sox played a doubleheader, they gave up the most runs in a twinbill in nearly 70 years.
The White Sox hope for better results as they try to avoid losing their fifth - and possibly sixth - game in a row Tuesday in a day-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, who have the most productive offense in baseball.
Chicago (43-55) gave up 32 runs in losing consecutive games to Minnesota during the teams’ July 6 doubleheader. It was the most runs allowed by one team in a doubleheader since the Philadelphia Athletics allowed 35 runs to suffer a sweep against the Boston Red Sox on July 4, 1939.
“It was hard to watch, hard to feel that way,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “You can do nothing about it.”
The White Sox could struggle to keep runs off the board again, as the Tigers (59-38) lead the majors with 5.8 runs per game and a .289 batting average. Detroit improved both of those statistics with 18 hits in a 9-6 win over Chicago in Monday’s series opener.
Playing in his first major league game since 2004 with the Atlanta Braves, Tigers first baseman Mike Hessman delivered a go-ahead two-run single with two outs in the seventh inning. Hessman led the International League with 27 home runs for Triple-A Toledo before he was called up Monday afternoon.
“I think there’s a couple things that you still haven’t seen (from Hessman),” said Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson, who was 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs. “I had a chance to play with him in 2005, and he can definitely provide a lot of power with that bat.”
“So once he starts straightening out a couple balls and using that power you’re going to have something else to watch out for as well.”
Detroit increased its AL Central lead to two games over Cleveland, while the White Sox remained in a last-place tie with Kansas City.
The Tigers lost both games of their only other doubleheader this year - at Boston on May 17. In addition to the sweep they suffered against the Twins, the White Sox split two games against the New York Yankees on May 16.
Jeremy Bonderman (10-1, 3.53 ERA) will take the mound in the first game for the Tigers, who have won 12 of the right-hander’s last 13 starts. In that stretch, Bonderman is 5-0 on the road, where he had a five-start win streak snapped at Minnesota on Thursday. He didn’t get a decision after holding the Twins to three runs in 6 2-3 innings of the Tigers’ 4-3, 10-inning victory.
Bonderman hasn’t lost on the road since suffering a 12-1 defeat at Minnesota on Sept. 10. He is 5-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 12 career starts against the White Sox.
He’ll face Chicago’s Javier Vazquez (7-5, 3.73), who is looking to win his fifth straight decision - a feat the right-hander hasn’t accomplished since a six-start win streak Aug. 12-Sept. 7, 2001, when he pitched for the Montreal Expos.
Vazquez, who has a 2.68 ERA during his current winning streak, held Boston to two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 4-2 victory on Thursday.
“That’s all you can ask when you are the starter,” Guillen told the White Sox’s official Web site. “He battled against a pretty good hitting ballclub. He gives us a chance to do what we did.”
For the nightcap, the White Sox will hand the ball to Gavin Floyd (0-1, 9.53), who will be summoned from Triple-A Charlotte to make his second start of the year.
Floyd’s first start came in the second game of Chicago’s disastrous doubleheader against Minnesota. The right-hander was tagged for six runs and eight hits - including four home runs - in the 12-0 loss.
He has never faced the Tigers.
Right-hander Virgil Vasquez (0-1, 20.25) will be recalled from Toledo to start the night game for Detroit. He is 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA in his last four starts in the minors, but yielded six runs in 2 2-3 innings to lose 16-4 to the Twins in his major league debut May 13.