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updated: 9/1/2012 11:32 PM

Sox down in Motown again

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  • White Sox starter Francisco Liriano reflects on his rough outing Saturday against the Tigers in Detroit. Liriano dropped to 5-1l after working 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits with 7 walks.

      White Sox starter Francisco Liriano reflects on his rough outing Saturday against the Tigers in Detroit. Liriano dropped to 5-1l after working 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits with 7 walks.
    Associated Press

 
 

In late July, the White Sox lost three straight to the Tigers at Comerica Park and slipped out of first place in the AL Central.

The Sox returned home and swept a three-game series against the Twins while quickly moving past Detroit and back into the top spot in the AL Central.

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The White Sox have led the division ever since -- but they have got to be experiencing a severe case of déjà vu, at least on the front end.

With Minnesota due to arrive at U.S Cellular Field on Monday night for three games, the Sox will try avoiding yet another sweep at the hands of the Tigers tonight when ace Chris Sale opposes defending Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.

If the White Sox can avoid their fifth straight overall loss to Detroit this season, they'll return to the South Side with a 2-game lead in the Central.

If not, they'll come home tied for first place.

"There's a long way to go," manager Robin Ventura told reporters after the Sox lost to Max Scherzer and the Tigers 5-1 Saturday night. "You're still where you want to be. No use hanging your head. There are still a lot worse places you could be."

Ventura has not panicked at any point this season and he's not going to start now.

But that doesn't mask a myriad of White Sox problems as they get into the stretch run.

Outside of fill-in Dylan Axelrod's performance at Baltimore on Wednesday night, the Sox' starting pitchers have labored on a 1-5 road trip. The bullpen has not been much better.

As for the offense, Sox batters have been overmatched in every game but one on the trip -- and that trend continued against Scherzer.

While White Sox starter Francisco Liriano again struggled to throw strikes, Scherzer allowed 4 hits over 8 shutout innings and rang up 9 strikeouts.

"He threw as good a performance as we've had thrown against us, just stuff-wise," Ventura said. "It looked like he was in and out and spotting his pitches."

Liriano lasted just 4-plus innings and was actually lucky to give up just 3 runs on 4 hits and 7 walks.

Adam Dunn, who leads the White Sox in home runs (38) and RBI (88), was held out of Saturday's game with a right oblique strain.

"I did it originally in Baltimore on Wednesday," Dunn told reporters.

"It came on a check swing in my first at-bat. It was sore and Thursday I knew it was there."

•According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, White Sox assistant hitting coach Mike Gellinger has been in a Baltimore hospital since Wednesday after suffering a fall in his hotel room.

Gellinger, a 1982 Fremd High School grad, blacked out and suffered trauma to a vertebrae. He is expected to fly to Chicago on today.

•The White Sox expanded their 25-man roster Saturday, reinstating catcher Tyler Flowers from the Paternity Leave List, activating infielder Orlando Hudson and reliever Leyson Septimo from the disabled list and bringing up infielder Dan Johnson, and relievers Deunte Heath and Brian Omogrosso from Class AAA Charlotte.

Johnson, who batted .267 with 28 home runs and 85 RBI at Charlotte, filled in for Dunn at designated hitter Saturday and was 1-for-3.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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