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DET@MIN: Verlander strikes out six in win

The Tigers are set to embark on a stretch of eight straight games and 27 of their final 30 against American League Central opponents beginning Friday in Chicago.

Though the White Sox are not in contention in the fierce battle for the second AL Wild Card, they'll have the opportunity to play spoiler when the four-game series begins at U.S. Cellular Field.

Detroit, which sits 1 1/2 games back of Kansas City for the top spot in the division, took its series against the Yankees with a 3-2 walk-off win on Thursday, while the White Sox have lost eight of their last nine.

Justin Verlander will take the hill for Detroit on an extra day's rest. Manager Brad Ausmus hopes he'll go deep into the game, given the fact that his team will be playing four games in 48 hours this weekend against Chicago.

Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner, has pushed his win-loss record back to an even 11-11 after his most recent outing in Minnesota last week. He allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings in the victory.

"His arm action looked much freer than it did, much easier than it did in Pittsburgh [10 days earlier]," Ausmus said. "I think his fastball had more life."

The last time these two teams met, the White Sox took two impressive victories and were nearing the .500 mark with hopes of re-entering the Wild Card chase. But right after that, they lost consecutive series to the Twins and Rangers. Since last playing the Tigers, they've gone 7-17 and have begun looking toward next year.

One player who could be in their future plans is rookie Scott Carroll, who will be on the mound for the White Sox. He's been about four runs per game better as a reliever than as a starter, with an ERA of nearly 6.00 when he's starting.

Last time out against the Yankees, Carroll allowed four earned runs on seven hits in six innings. He's allowed at least four runs in each of his four August outings.

"Defensively, we put him in some [tough] situations," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said after Carroll's most recent start. "We make some mistakes out there and with a lineup like this, they will grind you. He pitched fairly well, but you set him up with not making plays behind and then walking a couple guys."

Tigers: Soria continuing throwing program
Joakim Soria continues to stretch out his throwing program in his rehab from a left oblique strain, but the Tigers have no timetable on his return.

Soria threw off flat ground Tuesday and Wednesday, and is scheduled to stretch out his throws Friday in Chicago.

From there, he could progress to throwing off a mound, though there's no schedule for that just yet.

White Sox: Prospects to get plenty of playing time in September
With the White Sox out of playoff contention in the American League Central, Ventura and general manager Rick Hahn have not shied away from saying that prospects will see a lot of playing time down the stretch. 

"I don't think you're going to bring guys up here to not play them," Ventura said Thursday. "I think they're here to be able to get some time and see what they can do and hopefully put them in some spots where they'll be successful and make some decisions for next year at that point."

Though the Sox have an eye looking toward the future, Ventura wasn't ready to say whether the team would move to a six-man rotation for the final month.

"It's possible. I don't think right now it's necessarily a for sure that you're going to do that," Ventura said. "But again, we're going to go by what's happening, how guys are feeling. You'll have the ability to do that when you need to, but I'm not saying that's for sure."

Worth noting
The season series between these two teams is level at six games apiece.

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