The Chicago White Sox saw their slim postseason aspirations take a significant hit earlier this week after getting swept by the first-place team in the American League Central.
Chicago didn't fare much better against the cellar dwellers of the division in the opener of a three-game series, either. The White Sox (76-75) will look to snap their four-game skid on Saturday night when they continue their series against the Detroit Tigers (58-92) in Chicago.
Chicago followed up its unceremonious sweep at the hands of Cleveland with a 5-3 setback versus Detroit on Friday night. The loss, coupled with the Guardians' 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers, moved the White Sox eight games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central with 11 games remaining in the season.
While Tigers manager A.J. Hinch is aware of Chicago's plight, he insists his team is motivated by stringing wins together toward the end of the season.
"We know where everybody is in the standings, and we know what they have gone through to get here," Hinch said. "I don't know the pulse of their team, but obviously we want to win as many series as we can toward the end of the year."
White Sox acting manager Miguel Cairo is keeping optimistic that two-time All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson could return to the club this season. Anderson has been sidelined since sustaining a tear in his left middle finger on Aug. 6.
"But we've got to make sure he's 100 percent," Cairo said of a potential return for Anderson. "You don't want to (aggravate) it. You've got to be 100 percent but of course I would like to see him lead off and be with our team and finish the season."
Luis Robert remained out of the starting lineup for the third straight game while he addresses pain in his left wrist.
"He's trying to see if he can go out there and do it without pain," Cairo said. "He wants to play, and it's not fun sitting on the bench and watching your teammates play. He wants to play."
Chicago will send rookie Davis Martin (2-4, 3.78 ERA) to the mound on Saturday night against Detroit's Drew Hutchison (2-9, 4.59) in a battle of right-handers.
Martin will face the Tigers for the second time in as many trips to the mound. He allowed one run on three hits in six innings of a no-decision in Detroit last Saturday.
Martin also secured his first major-league victory in his lone other appearance versus the Tigers. He scattered three hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings of a 13-0 romp in Detroit on June 15.
Hutchison, in turn, has struggled against the White Sox this season. He fell to 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four appearances (three starts) versus Chicago after permitting six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings of an 11-5 setback on Sunday.
Overall, he is 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA in nine career encounters (six starts) against the White Sox.
--Field Level Media