Are the dark days finally over? Will the White Sox return to their winning form from the beginning of the 2011 season? Those questions are likely on the minds of White Sox fans everywhere as the Sox travel to Detroit to continue their road trip. After losing seven games in a row, during which the Sox scored all of thirteen runs and trailed in 49 innings, Thursday evening's 9-2 pounding of Jeff Niemann and the Tampa Bay Rays was quite a relief. Gavin Floyd pitched a great game and the offense finally woke up and drove in some base runners.
Now the Sox will look to start a much better streak as they battle the Tigers at Comerica Park. For game one they'll be sending Mark Buehrle to the hill. Buehrle has had a bit of tough luck this year. Though he got a victory in his first start, he's garnered two no-decisions and a loss since. So far he's 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. In his career against the Tigers, he's 16-8 over 29 starts with a 3.01 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Buehrle will mainly have to watch out for Magglio Ordonez in this evening's game, as Ordonez has hit him pretty well throughout his career, posting a .469 and 1.219 avg and OPS against him. Fortunately for Buehrle, his other nemesis, Victor Martinez, who has a .333 avg against him and has taken him deep four times, is on the 15-day DL as of April 19th.
The Tigers will send Justin Verlander to the mound to counter Buehrle. Detroit's ace has had a bit of a rocky start to the season, going 1-2 with 3.41 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in four starts. A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios have both done well against Verlander. Pierzynski has homered three times against him and has a .327 average and a .932 OPS. Alex Rios, meanwhile, is 4-for-13 with two doubles.
The weather in Detroit this evening is expected to be overcast, with a low in the mid-40s and an 80% chance of thunderstorms. First pitch is at 6:05 P.M., and the game will be televised on CSN.