White Sox-Tigers Preview
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By JEFF MEZYDLO
(AP) -- A dramatic comeback victory might give the Detroit Tigers the spark they need to begin a run in the right direction.
The Tigers look to win consecutive games for the first time in more than two weeks when they try for a sixth straight home win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Jhonny Peralta's two-run homer off Matt Thornton in the ninth inning helped Detroit (13-12) rally from two runs down to beat Chicago 5-4 on Friday.
"It's the best moment you can feel," Peralta said after his first home run of the season.
Saddled with lofty expectations, Detroit won nine of the first 12 before losing seven of the next eight. The Tigers have won three of five but are looking to win two in a row for the first time since a four-game run April 15-18.
Detroit has won eight of 10 overall versus Chicago (12-14), plus five straight and 11 of 13 against their AL Central rival at Comerica Park.
Alex Avila, who went 3 for 3 with a homer, is 7 for 13 in the last four games to raise his average from .218 to .279. He's batting .383 (23 for 60) with 11 RBIs in 19 home games against the White Sox.
The Tigers could face a tough task against scheduled Chicago starter Gavin Floyd (2-3, 3.13 ERA), who took a no-hitter into the seventh before he allowed a run, three hits and struck out nine in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-1 win over Boston on Sunday.
"Your object is to get in there and as late you can," said Floyd, who has yielded two runs, five hits and fanned 15 in 14 innings of his last two outings. "You just have to keep your focus and keep attacking."
The right-hander allowed three hits and overcame three hit batters to pitch six scoreless innings in a 5-1 win April 14 to improve to 7-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 18 starts against the Tigers.
It's uncertain if Floyd will face Detroit's Delmon Young, who did not play Friday after he was reinstated from the restricted list following a seven-day suspension for yelling anti-Semitic epithets while drunk in New York City on April 27.
Max Scherzer (1-3, 7.77), who was 6-0 in nine starts before suffering his first loss last season, looks to avoid a third straight losing start for the Tigers on Saturday. The right-hander allowed three runs, seven hits and a career-high seven walks in a 4 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss at New York on Sunday.
"Major league pitchers are not supposed to do that," manager Jim Leyland said of Scherzer, who has thrown 222 pitches in 9 2-3 innings of his last two starts.
Scherzer is 3-4 in nine starts versus Chicago despite a 2.51 ERA during those outings. He's 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in five starts against the White Sox at Comerica Park.
Chicago's Gordon Beckham had three hits with three RBIs on Friday, including a two-run homer that snapped a 2-2 tie. After batting .153 (9 for 59) with no homers and two RBIs in 20 April games, Beckham is 8 for 14 with two home runs and five RBIs in four this month.
The White Sox announced Friday that Chris Sale would be moved from the rotation to the closer's role, but he is not expected to pitch in this series.
Updated May 4, 2012