(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers are fading fast from the postseason picture, but can throw a wrench in the Chicago White Sox' playoff aspirations when the two AL Central rivals begin a three-game series tonight from U.S. Cellular Field.
Detroit is 9 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the division lead and the White Sox sit one game back after just losing two of three matchups with the Twins at home. In Thursday's 6-1 loss in the series finale, A.J. Pierzynski had three hits and knocked in Chicago's lone run.
Alex Rios collected a pair of hits for the White Sox, who have lost four of five games. Starter Gavin Floyd was dealt the loss for allowing six runs and 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings
"We missed a lot of opportunities," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "We got people on base almost every inning and we couldn't get a base hit."
Guillen and company will pay a visit to the Twins at Target Field following this series with the Tigers.
Chicago looks for a bounce-back performance from starter Mark Buehrle when he takes the hill tonight. Buehrle was 7-2 with a 2.70 earned run average in a 10-start span before losing at Baltimore his last time out on Sunday. In the 4-3 setback to the Orioles. he allowed four runs -- three earned -- on 10 hits though seven innings of work. The left-hander fell to 10-9 in 23 starts this season to go along with a 4.04 ERA.
Buehrle, who has won five of seven decisions in 10 starts at home, beat Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader on August 3 with 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball in a 12-2 drubbing from Comerica Park. He is 15-8 with a 2.97 ERA in 29 career games (28 starts) against the Tigers.
Detroit will begin a seven-game road trip against the White Sox and Yankees and was able to salvage the finale of a three-game home set versus Tampa Bay with Wednesday's 3-2 triumph.
Ryan Raburn clubbed a two-run homer in the sixth inning to put the Tigers ahead for good and Brandon Inge added a run-scoring single. Justin Verlander started for Detroit and recorded his 13th win with six innings of one-run ball and seven strikeouts.
"We just haven't done very well lately. We haven't had much offense," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "We had a big blow from Raburn, and that helps obviously. Verlander limited damage. I was a little concerned about the high pitch count early, but we got through it."
Ryan Perry threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Verlander and Jose Valverde allowed one unearned run in 1 1/3 frames for his 22nd save.
Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman enters tonight's contest on a losing decision, as he was reached for four runs and four hits in only 4 1/3 innings of a 10-1 setback versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Saturday.
Bonderman is 6-7 with a 4.96 earned run average in 21 games (20 starts) this season. He defeated Chicago in the nightcap of that twinbill on August 3, hurling 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a 7-1 victory. He is 6-10 with a 4.56 ERA in 17 career starts against the White Sox.
Chicago is 6-2 against Detroit this season after the two AL Central inhabitants split 18 matchups a year ago.