Game 97: White Sox at Tigers

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  Clayton Richard (3-3, 5.50) vs.   Rick Porcello (9-6, 4.40), 8:05 p.m. EST

The Tigers have arguably already accomplished their mission for the weekend by winning three games against the White Sox this weekend.  But is it wrong to be a little greedy?  A four-game sweep would be a pretty definitive statement, putting the second-place team four games back. 

However, I'm kind of a believer in this ESPN Sunday Night curse for the Tigers, as they don't ever seem to play well with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are watching.  (I blame Morgan hanging out by the batting cage before the game, instead of Rod Allen.)  

Clayton Richard in winless in his past three starts for the White Sox, but he's coming off one of his best starts of the season.  Against the Rays, Richard allowed only one run and four hits over eight innings, with seven strikeouts.  The only thing keeping him from a win was Bobby Jenks blowing a save.  Last time Richard faced the Tigers, he gave up three runs, five hits, and five walks in 4.2 innings at U.S. Cellular Field.  On the road this year, he's 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in seven starts. 

Rick Porcello gets to show his rookie stuff to a national audience tonight.  Hopefully, the added spotlight doesn't shake him (though it doesn't seem like very much rattles the kid).  Porcello looked like a guy who hadn't pitched in 16 days in his last start, giving up five runs and nine hits (including two homers) in five innings versus the Mariners, but a rare nine-run outburst from the Tigers' lineup still got him the win.  Young Rick has a 4-2 record and 4.71 ERA at home in eight starts. 

Facing the left-handed Richard, Carlos Guillen is out of the lineup.  Marcus Thames gets the start at DH.  Ryan Raburn plays in left field.  And batting third tonight, as he did on Friday night, is The Big Tilde, Magglio Ordonez.

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