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Tigers take on White Sox aiming to inch closer to division title

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Tigers try to inch closer to an American League Central title on Monday when they open a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park.

Detroit claimed a crucial series win over the Kansas City Royals over the weekend to move 1 1/2 games up on them in the division. The Tigers' magic number for clinching the crown now stands at seven.

"Hopefully we'll come home and it'll get loud," Torii Hunter said. "It's going to be fun. It shouldn't be hard to get pumped up. If you don't have that adrenaline now you're not human. You should check your pulse."

Detroit was denied a sweep in its set with the Royals on Sunday, falling, 5-2, at Kauffman Stadium. Rick Porcello was touched for four runs on nine hits before being pulled with one out in the fourth.

"It's gonna come down to the wire," Porcello said.

Despite Sunday's loss the Tigers have still won nine of their last 13 games.

Getting the call for Detroit on Sunday will be lefty Kyle Lobstein, who is 1-0 with a 3.58 ERA. Lobstein hasn't pitched since Sept. 13 when he failed to record a decision against Cleveland. He allowed four runs and six hits in five innings of that one.

Chicago will counter with a young hurler of its own in righty Chris Bassitt, who is 0-1 with a 5.29 ERA. Bassitt did not record a decision last Tuesday in Kansas City, as he surrendered three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Bassitt was torched by the Tigers in his first big league appearance back on Aug. 30 to the tune of five runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

"Nervous a little bit, yeah," Bassitt said afterward. "It was a great lineup I was going up against, but I mean, I try to say the same thing: 'It's baseball. It's still the same game.' Just try to go out there and compete as much as I could."

Chicago took two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend and on Sunday, Avisail Garcia homered twice to lead the White Sox to a 10-5 victory.

Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer and Alexei Ramirez drove in two runs for the White Sox, who used a six-run sixth inning to put the game out of reach.

John Danks (10-11) picked up the win after keeping the Rays hitless through 5 1/3 innings. He finished allowing two runs on two hits and three walks with five strikeouts over six frames.

"He had guys swinging through his changeup, spotting his fastball. He was good," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Danks.

Detroit has split 16 matchups with the White Sox.