While the Detroit Tigers might be playing their best baseball of the season, the Chicago White Sox remain frustrated.
The visiting Tigers look to extend their season-best winning streak to six games on Friday night in the second contest of a four-game set against the White Sox.
Detroit is 12 games under .500 but owns a 30-11 run advantage while winning five straight for the first time since a seven-game streak in July 2021.
After sweeping a four-game home series from the Cleveland Guardians, the Tigers got 6 1/3 scoreless innings from rookie Beau Brieske during a 2-1 victory over the White Sox on Thursday.
“Our hope is that we’re playing more like we’ve played the last few days, because that was the expectation coming into the season,” Tigers general manager Al Avila told the media this week.
Detroit has expected more from high-priced free agent Javier Baez than the .211 he’s batting. However, the ex-Chicago Cubs star homered on Thursday, and he is 5-for-13 with two doubles and a home run vs. Chicago’s scheduled Friday starter, Lucas Giolito (5-4, 4.90 ERA).
Giolito has allowed just three runs in 12 innings over his past two starts. On Sunday at San Francisco, he yielded one run on three hits and two walks in six innings, striking out seven during a 13-4 win.
“I know that when I execute pitches, there’s a good chance I’m going to get swings and misses, a good chance that I’m going to get weak contact,” the right-hander said, via MLB.com.
While those consecutive strong outings were on the road, Giolito has yielded 11 runs and 17 hits over 10 innings in going 0-1 in his last two at home.
His lone 2022 appearance against the Tigers came on Opening Day at Detroit, when he allowed one hit and two walks while fanning six over four scoreless innings. Giolito is 5-5 with a 4.36 ERA in 15 career starts vs. the Tigers.
The White Sox are three games under .500 and have been held to three or fewer runs in each of their three losses over the past four contests. Chicago has also dropped seven of nine at home, where it is 17-24.
“There’s still a lot of season left. There’s a lot of talent here,” White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease told NBC Sports Chicago.
The White Sox hope to bounce back against Detroit’s Tarik Skubal (5-7, 4.06 ERA). He has a 9.00 ERA while losing five straight starts after going 5-2 with a 2.33 ERA during his first 11 outings. The left-hander allowed five runs, five hits, including two homers, and three walks in 4 2/3 innings of Detroit’s 7-4 home loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
“Sometimes you just kind of fight yourself, and I’m just kind of doing that right now,” Skubal said. “So, I’ve gotta be better at not doing that.”
Skubal allowed five runs — four earned — and seven hits over four innings of a 10-1 home loss to the White Sox on April 10. Chicago stars Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu are a combined 13-for-26 with seven doubles, a homer and seven RBIs against him.
Though Abreu struck out with runners on second and third in the ninth inning on Thursday, he has hit safely in 12 straight games, batting .438 (21-for-48) in that span.
Meanwhile, Tigers star Miguel Cabrera is riding a 13-game hitting streak in which he is batting .383 (18-for-47).
–Field Level Media