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Tigers Look To Sweep White Sox On ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball

(Sports Network) - With another victory tonight, the Tigers can essentially turn the American League Central into a two-horse race.

The White Sox have no one to blame but themselves.

Detroit seeks to sweep Chicago out of Motown tonight and deal another blow to the Pale Hose's playoff chances in the finale of a three-game series.

The first-place Tigers have done their best to prevent the White Sox from closing ground in the division race by personally taking care of business in this series. Detroit has won nine of 14 over Chicago this season, including six of eight at Comerica Park.

The Tigers have won 17 of their last 23 versus the White Sox dating back to last season.

Chicago seemed poised to make up some ground on Saturday night, holding a seven-run lead after five innings. Detroit, though, clawed its way back before getting to White Sox closer Sergio Santos for three runs in the ninth inning on a pair of clutch homers.

Ryan Raburn tied the game with a two-run shot and Miguel Cabrera smacked the game-winning, walk-off homer two batters later for a 9-8 win. Coupled with Cleveland's loss to Kansas City, the Tigers upped their edge over the Indians in the AL Central to 6 1/2 games, while the White Sox fell 7 1/2 games off the pace.

Detroit will visit Cleveland for three games starting on Monday and has one series left versus the White Sox, a three-game set at Chicago from Sept. 12-14.

"Every game is huge, every win is huge. We have to go out there and try to finish the job," said Cabrera, who has reached base safely in 30 consecutive games.

Alexei Ramirez hit a three-run homer to help the White Sox race out to their early advantage before Santos suffered his fourth loss of the season and fifth blown save.

"You feel like you let the 24 other guys on your team down," Santos said. "They busted their tails and played really well, so to go in there and mess up that one inning, it's tough."

The White Sox could have the right man on the mound tonight to avoid the sweep, with streaking southpaw Mark Buehrle set for the start. He has posted a victory in five of his past six decisions while losing just once in 12 starts since June 21.

Buehrle hurled 7 2/3 scoreless innings to beat the Twins on Monday, scattering four hits -- all singles -- and two walks while striking out four. He improved to 11-6 with a 3.05 earned run average on the season.

"One game at a time," said Buehrle of his team's mentality following the victory. "We can't get too far ahead. We've got a couple more games with Detroit and they're not going away and I think they know we're not going to."

The 32-year-old will make his fourth start of the year against the rival Tigers and is 2-1 with a 4.58 ERA in the season series thus far. He did beat them in the last meeting on July 25, yielding two unearned runs over six innings.

Location doomed Max Scherzer in his last start and the right-hander will hope to have better luck this evening for the Tigers.

Scherzer was pounded for seven runs on 10 hits, including three homers, over three-plus innings of a setback to the Royals on Monday. He gave up six hits with two strikes as he failed to put away hitters and fell to 13-8 with a 4.52 ERA on the season.

"When you don't locate your fastball that's where it all starts," manager Jim Leyland said. "There's a difference between throwing for a strike and throwing for a quality strike. Obviously, Scherzer didn't do that tonight."

Luck hasn't been on the 27-year-old's side in his career versus the White Sox. Despite a lifetime 2.61 ERA in seven starts against them, he is just 2-3. He came up on the short end of a 2-1 defeat back on July 27, yielding both runs over six innings.