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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, May 14th (All times Eastern)

Detroit Tigers (17-17) at Chicago White Sox (16-19), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.59) Chicago - John Danks (2-4, 5.89)

(Sports Network) - Despite the best earned run average in the American League, Tigers starter Drew Smyly has just one win to show for his efforts.

John Danks' ERA is the highest it has ever been after seven starts, but the White Sox hurler put together a solid outing last time out.

The two go head-to-head this evening when Detroit visits Chicago for the first of two straight games.

Smyly has posted a 1.59 ERA over his first six major league starts, having not allowed more than two runs in any of his outings. However, he is just 1-0 and took another tough-luck no-decision on Wednesday in Seattle. The 22-year-old allowed a run on two hits and two walks over six innings, fanning five in his club's 2-1 setback.

"Smyly did a great job ... we just couldn't get any runs on the board," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

That outing came five days after the left-handed Smyly faced the White Sox for the first time in his career. He did not factor into a 5-4 win despite giving up two runs over six innings and fanning a career high-tying seven for a third straight outing.

Danks, meanwhile, is 2-4 with a 5.89 ERA through seven starts, but seemed to get on track last Tuesday versus the Indians. He avoided a third straight loss by allowing just two runs on five hits and three walks in seven innings, not factoring into the decision of a 5-3 extra-inning win but leaving manager Robin Ventura impressed.

"He pitched great," said Ventura. "It's just baseball. There were a couple of weird-hit balls."

The 27-year-old southpaw is 4-7 with a 5.04 ERA in 15 career starts against the Tigers.

Danks will try to keep Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder slumping as he is hitless in last 22 at-bats, including an 0-for-5 effort versus Oakland on Sunday. However, Justin Verlander hurled seven innings of two-hit ball in a 3-1 win that gave the Tigers a split of the four-game series.

Verlander fanned eight and didn't surrender his first hit until Josh Reddick looped a single into center with two outs in the fourth inning. Seth Smith's leadoff homer in the fifth accounted for Oakland's other hit off the right- hander.

The American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner and MVP couldn't come out for the eighth because of a blister.

"There was no point in going out there and risking something serious happening," said Verlander. "Obviously if I could, I would. At this point in the season you don't want to cause something that's going to linger for a long time."

Austin Jackson's bases-loaded walk in the sixth plated the go-ahead run, while Miguel Cabrera added three hits and two RBI for the Tigers.

Chicago tries to avoid a third straight defeat this evening after dropping Sunday's rubber match of a three-game series with the Royals by a 9-1 margin.

Paul Konerko knocked in the lone run for the White Sox, while Matt Thornton was charged with the deciding run while retiring one batter in the seventh inning.

Reliever Addison Reed also had his club-record 13-game scoreless streak to begin a season end after getting charged with six runs in the ninth.

The Tigers and White Sox have split six meetings so far this season.

05/14 11:02:13 ET