The Chicago White Sox came up short in their attempt to match their longest winning streak of the season their last time out. If they plan on starting a new run, they’ll have to avoid extending their recent troubles on the road.
The White Sox will try to begin another successful stretch and snap a four-game skid away from home as they continue their three-game set with the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
Chicago (37-27) surged into this road swing after concluding a 7-0 homestand with a four-game sweep of Minnesota on Sunday, improving to 20-9 at U.S. Cellular Field.
However, the White Sox were unable to equal their eight-game winning streak from May 14-22 after falling 6-4 in the opener with Detroit (27-37) on Tuesday night. It was their fourth straight road defeat and dropped them to 17-18 away from home.
While the White Sox weren’t able to add to the win column, they held onto their 6 1/2-game lead in the AL Central over second-place Minnesota, which lost at Cleveland.
Chicago also managed to stay hot at the plate after totaling 61 runs and batting .347 during the perfect homestand. The club pounded out at least 12 hits for the 13th time this season.
“Just one or two hits away from getting back into the game,” right fielder Jermaine Dye told the team’s official Web site. “We still put up double-digit hits, and we battled. We just couldn’t scratch that big hit across.”
The White Sox will now try to get the best of Justin Verlander (2-9, 5.05), whom they have already hit hard twice this season. Verlander is 1-6 with a 6.14 ERA in 10 career starts versus Chicago, compiling a 6.75 ERA in two losses this year.
The right-hander has been backed by just 3.07 runs of support in 13 starts this season. In only three of his nine losses have the Tigers managed to score at least two runs.
Verlander held Cleveland to three runs and five hits over seven innings in a 4-2 loss on Friday. He struck out a season-high eight, but dropped to 1-6 with a 4.53 ERA in his last eight starts.
“It is tough for me to look at my record right now, so I try not to do it,” said Verlander, who has matched his career high for losses set in 2006. “I just have to stay focused and try to control what I can control.”
Chicago counters with Javier Vazquez (6-4, 3.64), who earned a win Friday despite a shaky outing. He gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 10-6 home victory over the Twins.
The right-hander will be trying for his fifth consecutive win over the Tigers. He held them to five hits and struck out nine in seven innings of an 11-0 home victory on April 13.
Vazquez is 4-0 with a 2.43 ERA in his last four starts against the Tigers after going 1-4 with a 5.87 ERA in his first five outings versus them. He is 2-3 with a 5.46 ERA in five career appearances in Detroit.