Tigers-White Sox Preview


A dominant effort from the mound helped the Detroit Tigers quiet the surging Chicago White Sox.

They hope Nate Robertson can turn in a similar start Thursday as Detroit seeks a two-game road sweep of its AL Central rival.

Detroit (12-9) allowed just four hits in a 6-2 victory on Wednesday, its third win in four games after a three-game losing skid. Chad Durbin struck out a career-high nine batters for his first major league win since Sept. 16, 2004.

On offense, the Tigers amassed a season high-tying 13 hits, with 10 coming from the first four batters in the order. Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, extending his hitting streak to seven games. In that stretch, he is hitting .556 (15-for-27) with two homers and 14 RBIs.

"He's swinging as good as I've seen him swing," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Durbin got the benefit of facing a Chicago (11-9) missing sluggers Jim Thome (ribcage) and Jermaine Dye (back). With both players again listed as day-to-day, Robertson (2-1, 2.05 ERA) might finally be able to solve the White Sox.

Both injured players have hit the Tigers left-hander well. Dye has batted .385 (10-for-26) with five homers against him, while Thome is 4-for-11 with one home run.

Robertson is 4-6 with a 4.93 ERA in 15 career starts against the White Sox, but is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in his last five outings versus Chicago.

On Saturday against the White Sox, Robertson allowed four runs over 6 1-3 innings and did not factor in the decision of Detroit's 7-5 defeat.

Ordonez, who played his first eight seasons with the White Sox, is batting .417 (25-for-60) with three homers and seven RBIs in 16 games at U.S. Cellular Field since being signed by the Tigers as a free agent before the 2005 season. However, he is hitting only .207 (6-for-29) with two homers and six RBIs in his career against Chicago starter Jose Contreras (1-2, 6.16), who takes the ball Thursday.

Contreras allowed four runs in the first inning of Saturday's win, but settled down to retire 20 of the next 22 batters before he was pulled after seven innings.

"After the (first inning), he was Jose," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said on the team's official Web site of Contreras, who is 8-4 with a 3.64 ERA in 17 career appearances against the Tigers. "He kept us in the game, and I think that's a big reason why we won."

Paul Konerko was 0-for-4 with a strikeout on Wednesday, but has hit .286 (12-for-42) with four homers against Robertson in their careers.

Despite Wednesday's loss, Chicago is 6-2 in its last eight games. White Sox starters, however, have a 5.24 ERA since Mark Buehrle threw a no-hitter on April 18.