Second-place Detroit trails Chicago by two games in the American League Central, as the pennant races begin to heat up.
But Liriano will be pitching in what has become a tough place to play for the White Sox, who have lost 16 of their last 21 at Rogers Centre. That said, the White Sox have taken two of the first three games of the series, and would win the 2012 season series with a victory on Thursday.
Despite Liriano's winless record and his inability to work deep into games in his first three starts for the White Sox, manager Robin Ventura is confident he has the right guy on the mound to give Chicago its first season series win over Toronto since 2006.
"He goes out, throws hard, has a good changeup," Ventura said. "He's tough, he's a competitor. He goes out and I don't think he makes too many waves in here other than he just wants to come out and pitch and win."Liriano struck out each of the first four hitters he faced on Saturday against Oakland, but he struggled shortly thereafter, and was removed after allowing six runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Fellow southpaw Aaron Laffey gets the ball for Toronto after he went through similar struggles -- five runs and four walks in 5 2/3 frames -- his last time out against the Yankees.
Laffey posted a 2.70 ERA in his first five starts, but he has an 8.18 ERA over his past four.
White Sox: Konerko aims for Friday return
Thursday's series finale in Toronto will likely be the South Siders' last game without Paul Konerko, who is on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion.
After sustaining the concussion against Kansas City on Aug. 7, Konerko has taken batting practice and done other drills with no reported problems.
"Everything is looking pretty good that he would be able to come off Friday and be able to play," manager Robin Ventura said.
Konerko is hitting .316, with 18 homers.
Blue Jays: Rasmus returns as DH
Toronto center fielder Colby Rasmus was back in the lineup on Tuesday night, but he wasn't in his familiar position in the outfield.
Rasmus, who missed four games with a strained right groin, went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts as the designated hitter, and he isn't expected to play the field until he has fully recovered.
"He's good to go and we're gradually getting him back in," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "On this turf, as aggressive as his breaks and reads are in the outfield, we all came to the agreement, 'Let's put the bat back in your hand, DH, see how you get out of the box, run the bases.'"
A.J. Pierzynski extended his hitting streak to 16 games on Wednesday night, which matched a career high for the White Sox catcher. Pierzynski's streak is the longest active streak in the Majors.
Edwin Encarnacion has two home runs in four at-bats lifetime against Liriano.
The White Sox are 5-1 on artificial turf in 2012.