Tigers-White Sox: How Will the Tigers Follow Up Their Sweep?

Nick BarnowskiCorrespondent IApril 13, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 15:  Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers swings at a pitch during a game against the Kansas City Royals on May 15, 2008 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)

Fresh off a sweep of the Texas Rangers, the Detroit Tigers will turn their attention to the Chicago White Sox for a three-game set at Comerica Park.

The White Sox are coming off a home series with the Minnesota Twins in which they took two of three, including an impressive win against Francisco Liriano.

The Tigers will look to extend their best home start in 16 years against the defending AL Central champions.

Game One: Monday, April 13 @ 1:05 PM ET

Dominant would be the word to describe Gavin Floyd's performances against the Tigers.

In his career, Floyd (0-1, 2.57) is 4-0 against Detroit. Last season, he went 3-0 with a 3.68 ERA against the last-place Tigers, with two of those victories coming at Comerica Park. He also carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning on April 12 against visiting Detroit.

Floyd, who signed a four-year contract worth $15.5 million with the White Sox in March, has a very good fastball that the Tigers, a good fastball hitting team, will need to look for.

Red-hot Brandon Inge, who has four home runs to start the season, has hit a home run and four RBI off Floyd in his career. Some other Tigers who have success against Floyd are Gerald Laird (1-for-2 with a home run) and Placido Polanco (home run, three RBI).

Taking the rubber for Detroit is Zach Miner.

Miner (1-0, 1.59) pitched very well against the Toronto Blue Jays last Wednesday, earning Detroit's first win of the season while pitching five-and-two-thirds innings.

Miner has not pitched very well against the South Siders though.

Versus the White Sox in his career, Miner is 2-5 with a 5.29 ERA. Another mark against Miner is that his home ERA (5.28) is incredibly higher than his road ERA (3.08).

Jermaine Dye has had a lot of success against Mr. Miner, going 5-for-12 with two home runs and five RBI in his career against the Detroit right-hander.

Game Two: Tuesday, April 14 @ 1:05 PM ET

Tigers rookie Rick Porcello, who lost his first major league start against the Blue Jays on Thursday, will pitch against John Danks in Game Two of the series.

The 6' 5", 200 pound right-hander showed Tigers brass that he, indeed, has the stuff to make him a potential ace. Porcello (0-1, 7.20) kept the ball down in the strike zone, and forced a lot of ground ball outs—eight to be exact.

White Sox hitters have never faced Porcello, but they will be looking for his heavy fastball and good changeup.

Danks (0-0, 0.00) pitched a great game against the Minnesota Twins in his first start of the season, tossing six scoreless innings while throwing 95 pitches. In 2008 against the Tigers, he went 2-0 with a 2.41 ERA.

Magglio Ordonez has hit Danks very well in his career, driving in six runners and going 10-for-17.

The key for Tigers hitters will be to get after him early. In innings one through three, Danks has given up 23 home runs, and his OPS+ is a lowly 84.

Game Three: Wednesday, April 15 @ 1:05 PM ET

Armando Galarraga proved on Friday that last season was no fluke, dominating the Rangers. Galarraga (1-0, 1.29) pitched seven innings and gave up only one run in the Tigers' home opener.

Taking the hill for the White Sox will be Jose Contreras.

Contreras (0-1, 7.20) gave up four runs on seven hits in Chicago's 12-5 loss against the Twins on Friday. He will need to establish better control if he wants to be successful on Wednesday, as he will be facing a patient Tigers lineup.

In his career, Contreras is 8-8 against the Tigers with a 4.68 ERA.

Carlos Guillen has three home runs, nine RBI, and 10 walks in 40 at-bats against the Cuban, who wasn't even expected to be in the starting rotation until mid-season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in early August last season.

The White Sox were the only division opponent Galarraga didn't face last season, so he will look to continue his dominance against Carlos Quentin and company in the series finale.


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