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CHICAGO -- The Detroit Tigers will look to bolster their playoff chances when they visit the Chicago White Sox on Monday afternoon to open a three-game series.With 26 games to go in the regular season, Detroit (74-62) is tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild-card playoff berth in the American League. The Tigers are two games behind the Boston Red Sox for the first wild-card spot, and they trail the Cleveland Indians by 5 1/2 games in the American League Central.I think we understand that if we keep playing inconsistent, were not going anywhere; were going to go home, first baseman Miguel Cabrera told the Detroit News after the Tigers won two of three games this weekend against the Kansas City Royals. We dont want to go home. Were going to keep fighting to the end and try to make something happen. This is fun.To play for something, this is fun. Trying to play for a spot in the playoffs, its exciting. You need to come every day and play hard.That leaves the White Sox (65-71) to play the role of spoiler as the Tigers come to town. Chicago opens a 10-game homestand after a disappointing road trip in which they went 2-5.The White Soxs road trip started against the familiar Tigers, who swept them in three games. Chicago is 5-11 against Detroit this season and has been outscored 92-68 in those contests.Since May 23, the White Sox have posted a 13-31 record against AL Central rivals.You have to figure out a way to shore that up and get some consistency, White Sox manager Robin Ventura told the Chicago Tribune. We can go from one night scoring seven to three games in a row scoring one.Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.30 ERA) likely will not make life easy for the White Sox. Verlander has recorded 10 consecutive quality starts and is second in the AL with 198 strikeouts.During his career, Verlander is 19-13 with a 3.87 ERA against Chicago. He is 6-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 18 starts at U.S. Cellular Field.White Sox left-hander Chris Sale (15-7, 3.10 ERA) will try to outshine Verlander in a battle of aces. Sale limited the Tigers to two runs in eight innings in his last meeting Aug. 31 but did not factor in the decision.Chicagos lanky southpaw has gone 8-7 with a 3.09 ERA in 28 career appearances (18 starts) against the Tigers. He is 5-3 with a 2.97 ERA in 16 games (nine starts) at home against Detroit.Sale and his teammates could benefit from a return to their home ballpark. The White Sox are 35-29 at home this season compared with 30-42 on the road. Against the Tigers, the White Sox are 4-3 at home and 1-8 on the road.Tigers catcher James McCann is relishing the high stakes of September baseball.Its what you dream about in the offseason and spring training, McCann told the Detroit News. Getting to this point in the season and getting to play for something.Cheap Bob Gibson Jersey . 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Both players have lower body injuries that will keep them out of the lineup until at least January 31, which is the first game they can be activated from IR.RENTON, Wash. -- During his decade in Los Angeles, Pete Carroll felt the void.Even though USC football was the biggest thing in the Los Angeles area during the 2000s and Carroll was the architect behind the dominant Trojans, there was something missing in the football community without the NFL.It just didnt feel right, Carroll said. There was a hole there that was so obvious. Thats why the league was so adamant and so diligent about staying with it and eventually getting it done.Perhaps its just coincidence -- but most likely not -- that Carrolls Seattle Seahawks will be the first visiting NFL team to play in Los Angeles in 22 years when they face the Rams on Sunday. Six other teams will visit the Coliseum this season. Many of those will have a number of players from California, typically one of the top states for producing NFL players.But few of those will match the connections and history that the Seahawks have.There is still a connection. It was that deep of an experience with the fans and the school and the community and all that, Carroll said.Carroll has the most obvious history from his nine years as the head coach at USC. He arrived at USC under heavy scrutiny as a twice-fired NFL reject and made the Trojans champions again.I saw it really as an opportunity, Carroll said. Our first game we played San Jose State and there were like 40,000 people there. When theres 40,000 people in that stadium its like theres nobody home, its like a spring game. I was kind of disappointed, I was like, `This is what its like? It changed after a while. It was always obvious to me that there were tremendous opportunities.There are others who are relishing their opportunity to play in LA. Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner grew up 45 minutes from the Coliseum and hoped to play for the Trojans in college. He ended up at Utah State instead, making this weekend hhis first opportunity to play in the venerable stadium.ddddddddddddhen I saw that on the schedule I definitely was excited to not only play my first game in L.A., but to also play the first game since whenever it was, Wagner said. I think its a fun opportunity, we have a lot of California guys that are looking forward to it. Ive never gotten a chance to have all my family there. I have family who cant travel because of certain things, so to be 45 minutes away and have them come see a game, Im looking forward to it.Richard Sherman also has a lengthy history, one that Carroll would rather forget. During his time at Stanford, Sherman was part of two of the more memorable Cardinal wins at the Coliseum.Sherman caught a key fourth down pass on the winning drive of Stanfords 24-23 upset of USC in 2007 that ended the Trojans 35-game home winning streak. Two years later, Sherman came back as a cornerback and returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown in Stanfords 55-21 blowout that became known as the Whats your deal game.Im sure its going to be huge for Pete, its going to be cool, Sherman said. He has a lot of good memories and some bad memories in that stadium. Its going to be fun. I have a lot of great memories, very fond.Game notesQB Russell Wilson practiced Wednesday despite the sprained right ankle suffered in Sundays win. His attitude is as charged up as you can imagine, Carroll said. ... Carroll said RB Thomas Rawls will get the start against the Rams. Christine Michael was the starter in the opener. ... RB C.J. Prosise is practicing this week but has a large protective club on his right hand after suffering a small bone fracture in the opener.---Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '

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