2012 MLB standings: Tigers' lead in AL Central grows to 2 games

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Chicago White Sox have lost their grip on the AL Central, and the Detroit Tigers have finally decided to pounce at the opportunity.

Before the current stretch in late September, the Detroit Tigers had made a habit of letting the Chicago White Sox off the hook by matching their spurts of poor play. But, after ripping off four-straight wins during Chicago's recent three-game skid, the Tigers have finally jumped out to a lead in the AL Central.

Going into Friday's slate of games, Detroit holds a two-game lead over the White Sox with just six games remaining for each team.

The Tigers have Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria to thank for the extra half-game cushion, because Longoria launched a 405-foot home run in the ninth inning against the Sox Thursday night to break the 2-2 tie and banish Chicago to another disappointing loss.

The Sox have three games remaining against the Rays and another three against the Cleveland Indians, while the Tigers have a trio of games against the Twins and three matchups against the Royals to wrap up the regular season schedule.

For a complete look at the standings, make sure to check out SI.com.

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