The Tigers will wrap up a nine-game homestand Thursday, which ties for the longest stretch of games at Comerica Park all season. Had it not been for a rainout on the homestand's first day, this would've been the club's only 10-game homestand all season.
Wednesday's loss against the White Sox will make Thursday the decisive game to determine whether the homestand is a winning one. But Detroit starter Max Scherzer said that's not necessarily the focus.
"You stay within the series," Scherzer said Wednesday. "You're always trying to just win the series, win the series, win the series."
After Marcus Semien's grand slam propelled the White Sox to a 6-4 win Wednesday, the best Scherzer and the Tigers can hope for is a split of this four-game set. Scherzer will be opposed by Chicago left-hander Jose Quintana, who is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA.
Jose Abreu continues to rip into Detroit pitching. For the second straight night Wednesday, he went deep in the first inning.
"Obviously, he's a great power hitter," Scherzer said. "Somebody who can really do damage if you make mistakes."
Scherzer credited the starting rotation for its strong start, which continued Wednesday when No. 5 starter Drew Smyly pitched six solid innings. But that doesn't mean that success will translate when Abreu steps in Thursday.
"It's hard when you're facing a guy for the first time to know exactly what you're going to do," Scherzer said, adding the game situation will dictate his approach. "Just go out there and read what's happening."
Tigers: Coke's slider remains a work in progress
Phil Coke flubbed the finish on an 0-2 slider Tuesday night and turned what once had promise for a very good ninth inning into a troublesome one. He did not mess up the delivery when talking about it afterward.
"It was supposed to be away from him and I didn't get my fingers on top of the ball on the release," Coke said of his offering to Adam Dunn that became a two-run homer. "It started to get that movement that I wanted and then it came back to him at the last minute, just because I didn't get on top of the ball. If I get on top of the ball, he either fouls it off or douses it into left. I don't know. Who's to say? It didn't do what I'm supposed to do.
"It was like I threw an incidental two-seamer."
Wait, that's supposed to be an accidental two-seamer, right?
"No," Coke answered, "it was an incident, because he hit that a long way. Somebody almost died. That was an incident in the outfield seats. Seriously. I'm being totally honest, because he tattooed that ball. He really did. He's probably been itching to do that to me for a long time. Hey, he finally got me. Pitch didn't do what I wanted it to, and that's on me. But he's still a phenomenal hitter and he did exactly what he's supposed to do."
White Sox: Eaton unlikely to be back Thursday
Adam Eaton worked out on the field both Tuesday and Wednesday to test a mild strain near his left knee. But while he would have liked to have played Wednesday and definitely Thursday, the center fielder and leadoff man knows the call will be made by manager Robin Ventura and White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider.
"He's getting closer. He's able to do stuff. I don't think we're heading for a DL type of thing," said Ventura. "You still have to watch him just because of who he is, his personality.
"You can probably use other words that aren't as nice. He just kind of plays hard and goes 100 percent all the time. As much as he'd like to think he can hold back, he doesn't play that way. We have to be the ones to hold him back."
• Ventura expects Conor Gillaspie to return to the White Sox lineup Thursday. The third baseman missed two games with a sore left hand.
• Chicago's Dayan Viciedo (.354) and Alexei Ramirez (.352) sit one and two in the American League in hitting. Ramirez has hit safely in 21 of 22 games to begin the season. With 31 hits in March and April, he is tied for eighth place in club history.
• Tigers catcher Alex Avila threw out two would-be basestealers Wednesday night for the 10th time in his career.
• Paul Konerko doubled in the eighth inning Wednesday to take first place on the White Sox all-time total bases list. He passed Frank Thomas with 3,950.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.