video thumbnail

CLE@CWS: Quintana fans six over six strong frames

It's still very early in the season, so it's probably a bit premature to look at the standings and glean much from where teams are positioned.

But almost a month into the season, the American League Central standings have an interesting look, in that all of the teams are bunched together. Even the last-place team -- the Indians -- is only a few games out of first place.

Regardless of what month it is, divisional matchups usually carry some level of intrigue. When the Tigers and White Sox convene at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday, the Sox will be just a one game behind the first-place Tigers in the AL Central and have a little momentum working. After taking three of four from the Rays, the White Sox have won six of their last nine.

The Tigers will either be totally rested or totally restless by the time this series begins, depending on how you look at it. Detroit's series finale in Minnesota on Sunday was rained out, and they followed that with a scheduled off-day.

Because of the rainout, they'll resume play Tuesday night with a slightly revamped rotation. Instead of Max Scherzer starting, he'll be bumped to Wednesday, with Justin Verlander, Sunday's starter, taking the mound for the opener with the Sox.

Verlander faced the White Sox in his most recent start on April 22. He earned the win, allowing two runs over seven innings with two walks and seven strikeouts.

The Sox will counter with lefty Jose Quintana, who will be making his sixth start of the season in search of his second win. He will also be facing the same opponent in two consecutive starts, having pitched against the Tigers in a losing effort on April 24. He yielded three runs over six innings in a game the Sox lost, 7-4.

Tigers: Clutch hitting on the rise
Third baseman Nick Castellanos ranks fourth in the American League with a .412 (7-for-17) batting average with runners in scoring position. Two of those hits were home runs, and during this stretch, he's driven in 11.

Rajai Davis has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, batting .400 (14-for-35) with six runs scored, two doubles, one home run and five RBIs.

White Sox: Abreu's accolades
Jose Abreu's 10 home runs and 32 RBIs are both Major League rookie records for March/April, and he earned a share of the AL Player of the Week honors with Seattle's Kyle Seager.

Through his first 27 games, Abreu hit safely or collected an RBI in 17 of those contests. He already owns three multihomer games and seven multi-RBI. He is hitting .400 (12-for-30) with five homers and 26 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

Abreu appears to have found a home as the three-hole hitter, batting .313 (21-for-67) with seven homers and 26 RBIs. As the cleanup hitter, he was batting .205.

Worth noting
• How's this for eerie: as of their 31st birthdays, Miguel Cabrera and Hank Aaron have identical stats in three categories: batting average (.320), home runs (366) and extra-base hits (796).

• White Sox pitchers have issued a Major League-leading 125 walks this season. They also lead the league in runs scored with 150.

• Adam Dunn needs four home runs to tie Jeff Bagwell and Vladimir Guerrero (449) for 36th place all-time. He also needs two walks to tie Jack Clark (1,262) for 48th place all-time. Comments