Something about the White Sox brings out the best in Victor Martinez.
In 138 career games against Chicago, Martinez has accumulated a .324 batting average, 20 homers and 27 doubles. His 162 career hits and 84 RBIs against the White Sox rank third all-time.
Through the first two games of a three-game set against Chicago this week, he has three hits in six at-bats, but lately the Detroit designated hitter has had success against more than just Chicago.
And as Martinez has shined, so have the Tigers.
Aided by what appears to be a rejuvenated Martinez -- he's hitting .364 with 15 doubles, five homers and 33 RBIs in his last 47 games -- the Tigers have won 17 of their last 22 games and 26 of 37 dating back to July 2.
Martinez missed all of last season with a torn ACL and struggled to find his rhythm through the first few months of the season, but he appears to be regaining his previous form.
"He's swinging at more strikes, he's showing more patience and he's a great hitter," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland. "He's calmed down since the beginning of the season. I think all the anxiety about getting back to playing and everything, I think he was in a hurry kind of because he just hadn't played and now he's just settled back in. He's back into the routine of a Major League Baseball player and I think that's it."
All the past success hasn't been enough to help the Tigers against the White Sox this week, though. Chicago has taken the first two games of the series, while Detroit has lost four of five.
Rick Porcello is slated to take the mound for the start. He's allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last seven outings, six of which have been quality starts. He has a 2.62 ERA in that span compared to a 4.32 mark on the year.
So what's been the difference?
"His breaking ball's been better, his offspeed stuff's been better, he's attacking the hitters pretty good," Leyland said. "He's just been doing a very good job. That's why he's in the rotation, because we think he's capable of that."
John Danks will take the mound for the White Sox, who have won six of their last nine games. The lefty has recorded a quality start in each of his last three starts, but he has no wins to show for it. In 15 starts this season he's 2-9 with a 4.52 ERA.
Tigers: Middle infield gets new look
Shortstop Jose Iglesias and second baseman Omar Infante appear to be settling into their roles as the everyday Detroit middle infielders.
Iglesias, who came over from Boston just before the Trade Deadline, and Infante, who played in his second game since coming off the disabled list, have combined for five double plays in their first two games together.
Though they've only played together a short time, Leyland thinks the pair should quickly develop a double-play chemistry.
"Yeah, they'll be fine," he said. "I've always thought that people make a little bit too much out of that. I think that there is something to learning each other a little bit. I do agree with that. But they make more about that than [needed].
"Everybody says, 'Well, he knows exactly what this guy's going to do and that guy's going to do.' Well, get a ground ball to short and there's a guy on first, you're going to throw it to the second baseman covering second and he throws it to the first baseman for a double play. Once and a while, there's a ball hit up the middle where the other one knows the other one is going to get it or something. But they'll be fine."
White Sox: Club reportedly puts Konerko through waivers
White Sox captain Paul Konerko was put through waivers Tuesday, according to a report from FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.
The move doesn't necessarily mean Konerko is going anywhere. Putting a player on waivers is fairly common in August and even if someone did pick up Konerko, his 10/5 no-trade veto power means he would have to approve going to a different team.
"Everybody goes through waivers," White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams said. "I can't say I'll be here till the end of the year. Assuming all natural things, yeah, I would be surprised [if Konerko wasn't here]."
• The White Sox have lost 13 of their last 16 games against teams from the AL Central, including six of nine against Detroit.
• Alexei Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 10 games Tuesday after going 2-for-4. He's 18-for-46 (.391) with two home runs and eight RBIs in that span.
• Miguel Cabrera's streak of four straight games with a home run came to an end after he went 0-for-5 Tuesday.
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.