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RISP problems come up again: White Sox 6, Tigers 2

Final - 5.18.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago White Sox 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 6 10 1
Detroit Tigers 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
WP: Freddy Garcia (3 - 2)
LP: Rick Porcello (3 - 4)

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The Tigers were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Three times, they got players to third base with less than two outs without scoring either. Yes, you can blame the bottom of the lineup for that twice, but it happened at the top once, too.

That typically doesn't lead to good things.

On the other side of things, Rick Porcello allowed three runs to score in the fourth inning after recording a second out.

That, too, doesn't lead to good things.

So the Tigers find themselves on the losing side of things with the White Sox yet again. That team just seems to be a really annoying pebble in their shoe. Of course it's a pebble that kept the Tigers from winning the division last year and -- lacking for a division-contending team themselves this year -- would probably like nothing more than to do it again.

And if you want to know the real reason the Tigers are in second place looking up right now, it's that 9-9 record in the AL Central while the Twins are seven games over .500 in the division.

Fortunately there's plenty of time for both trends to reverse.

But not quite yes, as the Tigers will be heading out west to visit three cities in seven days to conclude what is easily the worst stretch of their schedule for the entire season. They've been in battle mode since leaving for 10 games in 11 days out west on April 14. Before facing the White Sox, four of the past seven series were against 2009 playoff teams. Two additional series were against a division-leading team this season. That's pretty tough right there.

If Detroit just hunkers down the next week, I'll be feeling pretty good about where they are when Memorial Day arrives.