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Bonderman duels Garland in finale of big three-game series

Sep 20, 2006 - 2:11 PM Detroit (90-61) at Chi White Sox (85-66) 8:05 pm EDT

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Fighting to reach a second straight postseason, the Chicago White Sox could make the Detroit Tigers their chief competition in the chase for the American League wild card with a win Wednesday.

In their final scheduled meeting with the Tigers this season, the White Sox attempt to strengthen their playoff hopes in Wednesday's rubber match of a three-game series.

A.J. Pierzynski's fourth-inning grand slam was the first of Chicago's four homers in its 7-0 victory here Tuesday. Freddy Garcia allowed just one hit in eight innings for the White Sox, who improved to 12-6 against the Tigers this season and remained 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the wild card chase.

Detroit's four-month tenure with at least a share of first place in the division could come to an end with a loss to Chicago and a win by Minnesota on Wednesday. Seeking their first division title since winning the AL East in 1987, the Tigers have resided in the top spot since May 16.

The Tigers give the ball to Jeremy Bonderman (12-8, 4.14 ERA), who allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings of a 17-2 rout of Baltimore on Friday. In his previous nine starts, the righthander was 0-4 with a 5.50 ERA.

After going 7-0 with a 2.96 ERA in his first 11 outings away from Comerica Park this season, Bonderman has been saddled with an 0-4 mark and a 5.23 ERA in his last five road starts. He has gone 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA against the White Sox in 2006, with both starts coming at home.

Chicago counters with Jon Garland (17-5, 4.30), who has gone 6-1 with a 2.67 ERA and three shutouts against Detroit since the beginning of last season. He pitched one of those shutouts in his last meeting with the Tigers on August 24, a six-hitter in a 10-0 triumph.

Despite a loss to Oakland in his last start Friday, Garland has won 13 of his last 15 decisions. The righthander is tied for second in the AL in wins this season and leads the circuit with 35 since the beginning of the 2005 campaign.

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