Gavin Floyd was suffering through a dismal personal stretch for the Chicago White Sox before a solid performance in his last outing.
Ending the major leagues' longest active losing streak against one team likely would make him feel even better.
Floyd looks to snap an eight-start skid versus the host Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night as the first-place White Sox try to bounce back from another empty offensive effort in the opener.
The right-hander ended a nightmarish personal run by holding the Cubs to four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-0 win on Wednesday. He had gone 1-4 with a 10.38 ERA in his previous six starts, though he contends he wasn't pitching as poorly as the numbers indicated."It was frustrating," Floyd said. "There were games where I felt really good and (didn't) get the results. It's part of baseball, I guess."
Floyd (5-7, 5.20 ERA), though, may have a tough time staying on track. He has an 8.86 ERA during his rough stretch against the Twins, allowing a season-worst nine runs in 3 2-3 innings of a 9-2 home loss to Minnesota on May 22.
The last pitcher to have a losing streak as long as Floyd's against one team was Jamey Wright , who lost nine straight starts against Houston from October 1, 2000-June 27, 2005."I guess I've got to figure that out," Floyd said after the latest dismal outing versus the Twins. "I wish I could pinpoint certain things. They have a good game plan against me apparently and I've got to change that and try to get them next time."
The White Sox (38-35) may need to shake their offensive funk to help Floyd end the streak. They've scored one run in back-to-back games and have put up one or zero runs five times in their last eight.
Kevin Youkilis couldn't put a charge into the offense in his Chicago debut Monday, though he did have one of his new team's five hits in a 4-1 loss."Offensively, we just seem to be in a funk," manager Robin Ventura said. "Eventually, it'll happen. Hopefully it happens tomorrow."
"We've got a long way to go here but (the White Sox are) in our division and leading our division, so it's a good start to win the first one," manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's official website. "Our goal is still just to get to .500 and we have a ways to go to get there."
Span is 15 for 29 (.517) against Floyd while Mauer is 17 for 39 (.436) with three homers, a triple, four doubles and eight walks.
The Twins (30-42), who have won five of eight, may need their offense to continue tormenting Floyd if they don't get a better performance from Liam Hendriks .
Hendriks (0-4, 7.39) has dropped each of his last four outings with a 9.92 ERA after allowing six runs in five innings of a 9-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday.
The right-hander has faced the White Sox once, giving up three runs in seven innings while losing his major league debut 3-0 on Sept. 6.
|Alejandro De Aza||3||.667||2||0||1||0||0||.667||2.000||1.333|
|Chicago White Sox|
|June 17, 2012||Philip Humber||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor strain|
|June 13, 2012||Adam Dunn||Day-to-Day||Sprained ankle|
|June 04, 2012||Kosuke Fukudome||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|June 04, 2012||Kosuke Fukudome||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 30, 2012||Alejandro De Aza||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right knee|
|May 20, 2012||John Danks||15-Day DL||Sore left shoulder|
|June 24, 2012||Matt Capps||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 17, 2012||Matt Capps||Day-to-Day||Sore right shoulder|
|June 17, 2012||Joe Mauer||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right quadricep|
|June 16, 2012||Joe Mauer||Day-to-Day||Sore left hamstring|
|June 15, 2012||Justin Morneau||Day-to-Day||Left forearm injury|
|June 14, 2012||P.J. Walters||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Gavin Floyd has spent the better part of the last three years getting pounded by the Minnesota Twins .
He finally hit back on Tuesday night.
Floyd struck out nine in seven shutout innings and Alex Rios homered to help the Chicago White Sox to a 3-2 victory, giving the right-hander his first win over the Twins since July 11, 2009.
"You try to have a short-term memory, just go out there and live in the present and make pitches," said Floyd, who was 0-8 with an 8.86 ERA in his previous eight starts against Minnesota. "It was good to go out and play well for the team."
Floyd (6-7) didn't walk a batter and increased his scoreless streak to 13 1-3 innings while beating the Twins for just the fifth time in 17 career starts. Rios added a single and a stolen base to go with his two-run homer and Alexei Ramirez had two hits and an RBI for the first-place Sox.
White Sox closer Addison Reed gave up a two-run single to Jamey Carroll in a shaky ninth inning, but got Denard Span to ground out to pick up his 10th save in 11 chances.
Twins starter Liam Hendriks (0-5) yielded three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings, losing an unlikely pitching duel between two struggling right-handers.
Joe Mauer , Josh Willingham , Trevor Plouffe and Ben Revere each struck out twice for the last-place Twins, who are trying to make up some ground on the White Sox in the mediocre AL Central.
Minnesota hasn't been kind to Floyd over the years. The right-hander entered with a 4-11 record and a 6.29 ERA in his career against the Twins, including a 2-6 mark and a 5.05 ERA in Minnesota. Five of the Twins' nine hitters carried career averages of .375 or better against Floyd into the game and Mauer had reached base in 15 straight plate appearances against him.
But Floyd was having all sorts of problems against most everyone this season. In his six starts prior to 6 1-3 scoreless innings against the Cubs, Floyd was tagged for 35 earned runs and 11 homers.
"Just having better command and not getting balls in the middle of the plate," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "If you get anything in the middle of the plate in a hitters' count, guys are hitting it. Tonight he was able to stay away from the middle of the plate and work his way out of innings."
It looked to be more of the same when Span led off the first inning with a double off the wall in left-center field, but Floyd left him stranded at third base after striking out Mauer and getting Willingham to pop out to center field.
"He showed that he had command and was able to get out of situations," Ventura said. "Especially that first, getting out of it with a guy on third and one out. That gives him confidence to get through the tougher innings."
He fanned Mauer again in the third inning and breezed the rest of the way, retiring nine straight at one point before giving up back-to-back singles to Mauer and Willingham in the sixth.
No problem this time for Floyd, who struck out Justin Morneau and got Plouffe to pop out to left field to end the threat. It's the first time Floyd has not given up a run in consecutive starts since July 2010. He built off of his curveball and was able to fool the Twins time and again with a slider that looked like his fastball before breaking at the last second.
By the time the Twins picked it up, it was too late.
"I thought he had real good stuff," said Carroll, who was 7 for 17 against Floyd prior to Tuesday night. "I've faced him a lot of times and I thought his stuff was a lot different tonight than when I've faced him before."
Hendriks was nearly as effective, which was almost as surprising. The Australian was sent down to Triple-A after allowing 18 earned runs in his first four starts and was underwhelming in his two previous outings since being recalled.
He made one real mistake on Tuesday, a hanging slider that Rios put into the second deck in left field for a 2-0 White Sox lead in the fourth.
NOTES: White Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis went 1 for 4 in his second game since being acquired from the Red Sox. He said he's getting a little more used to life in another organization after the hectic relocation. "It's not my team anymore," he said of the Red Sox. "It's better to be in first place rather than on the bottom." ... Twins LHP Tyler Robertson made an impressive major league debut in the eighth, striking out Alejandro De Aza, Youkilis and Adam Dunn , who whiffed twice in the game to run his total to 121 this season. ... The White Sox head to Yankee Stadium to open a series on Thursday, and Youkilis is ready for some abuse from the fans. "I'll take all the yelling and screaming at for the whole team," he said with a chuckle. "Maybe they won't hate me as much as they used to." ... RHP Nick Blackburn (4-4, 7.45 ERA) will start for the Twins on Wednesday against White Sox LHP Chris Sale (8-2, 2.24 ERA). Sale is 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his last seven starts.