(Sports Network) - Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams acquired starting pitcher Edwin Jackson from Arizona last week in an effort to shore up the rotation for a run at an American League Central title.
Williams will get a chance to see if that move was a wise one when Jackson takes the mound tonight in the third installment of a four-game series against the division-rival Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Jackson was just 6-10 with a 5.16 earned run average in 21 starts this season for the D'Backs, and threw the second no-hitter in team history on June 25 against Tampa Bay.
After a 14-win season for the Rays as part of their American League pennant season in 2008, Jackson was shipped to Detroit and had his best year in 2009. He was 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA in 33 starts for the Tigers and earned his first All-Star nod. Jackson, who has lost his last four starts, defeated Detroit back on June 19 this season in a 6-5 decision. He gave up four runs, three of which were earned, and nine hits in 7 2/3 innings, and is 2-0 with a 3.42 ERA in five career meetings (3 starts) with the Tigers.
The White Sox could use another win over Detroit after splitting a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday. It is seven games in front of the Tigers in the AL Central standings, while Minnesota is lurking 1 1/2 games off the pace. Chicago won the first contest, 12-2, thanks to a 15-hit attack and solo home runs by Juan Pierre, Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo.
Pierre, Rios and Gordon Beckham each had two RBI, while Alexei Ramirez collected four hits, three runs scored and drove in two runs for the White Sox, who and got 7 2/3 decent innings from winning pitcher Mark Buehrle. Buehrle gave up two runs and seven hits to help the Pale Hose pad their lead over the Tigers.
"Even if we swept these guys, I wouldn't think it's a knockout," Buehrle said of the Tigers and the division race. "We were down 10, 11 games and came back, so until they're officially out of it, I wouldn't count them out."
In the nightcap, Chicago's bats were silent in a 7-1 decision and Paul Konerko's solo home run in the seventh inning provided the scoring. Omar Vizquel posted three hits and Carlos Torres was dealt the loss for permitting five runs on nine hits and five walks in six innings.
The White Sox are 7-2 over their last nine games.
Meanwhile, Detroit got a rough start from Rick Porcello in the first game, as the hard-throwing youngster was drilled for seven runs and eight hits through 4 1/3 innings of work. Enrique Gonzalez fared no better in relief, allowing four runs over 2 2/3 frames.
Austin Jackson had three hits and an RBI in the 10-run setback. Detroit then rebounded with a win in the evening aided by a strong start by Jeremy Bonderman, who held the White Sox to a run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"You just got to play one game at a time," Bonderman said. "Any time you face the guys that are leading the division, it's nice to win some games and help yourself instead of looking for other help. You still got to win your game, but you're always looking for another team to pick you up, and it's nice to be able to do it yourself."
Johnny Damon helped his starter by registering three hits and two RBI. Brennan Boesch also plated a pair of runs for the Tigers, who won for only the second time in their last nine contests.
Tigers right-hander Armando Galarraga hasn't won since June 24 against the New York Mets and will try to put the brakes on his lengthy winless streak tonight. Galarraga is 0-2 with a 5.16 earned run average over his previous five starts and last toed the rubber in Friday's 6-5 win at Boston. He did not figure into the decision and held the Red Sox to a run in 4 2/3 innings.
Galarraga is 3-3 in 13 games (12 starts) this season and will face Chicago for the second time in 2010. He did not factor in the outcome of a 7-2 win back on June 8, as he tossed five innings of two-run ball. Galarraga is 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA in six career games, four of which have been starts, against the White Sox.
Chicago has won four of six meetings with Detroit this season after splitting 18 matchups a year ago. The White Sox have won nine of the previous 12 contests in this series.