CHICAGO (CBS) — Sweep or else?

Whatever hopes the Chicago White Sox have of making a playoff run essentially come down this weekend’s series against the Central Division leading Detroit Tigers.

The South Siders are 51/2 games back and probably need to take all three games–or at minimum two of three–from the Tigers, starting tonight in Detroit.

“It’s definitely not a ‘have to’ — it’s, ‘We need to,'” White Sox closer Sergio Santos told MLB.COM. “I think we need to win two out of three there.”

“Obviously, two out of three is going to help,” White Sox starter Jake Peavy said. “At some point in time, in these next three or when the Tigers come here, we have to beat them three games to have a chance to climb back in it.”

And that won’t be easy. The Sox face Justin Verlander (20-5), who has lost just once since the All-Star Break–tonight at Comerica Park. Lose tonight, and the games Saturday and Sunday are must wins for Ozzie Guillen’s crew.

“I’m not going to go out there saying, ‘Wow, we’re going to sweep them,'” Guillen told MLB. “They’re setting it up with the best pitcher they have. Hopefully, we don’t get swept in Detroit. If we don’t get swept in Detroit, we’re still hanging in there.”

John Danks (6-9) takes the mound tonight at 6:05 p.m. Saturday’s matchup: Gavin Floyd (12-10) vs. Brad Penny (9-10). Sunday’s matchup: Mark Buehrle (11-6) vs. Max Scherzer (13-8).

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