The Chicago White Sox offense has come to life in a big way of late, and it is on the verge of sweeping the first-place Cleveland Indians.
The White Sox doubled up the Tribe on Saturday, 14-7, and are now just a game and a half behind the Indians for the American League Central lead. Paul Konerko went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI, which raised his average to an AL-leading .396.
"I feel like I'm going to go to work when I go up (to hit)," Konerko said. "I'm just trying to trust what I'm doing up there."
Danny Viciedo went 3-for-5 with 5 RBI and hit a home run in his third consecutive game, giving him 10 on the year. Alex Rios also had three hits and a homer, while Adam Dunn, A.J. Pierzynski, and Alexei Ramirez all chipped in two hits.
Chicago's offense has now scored 40 runs in its last four games.
The run support was plenty for Jake Peavy (6-1), and though he struggled through a five-run third inning, managed to go 6 1/3 innings to earn the win. He also struck out nine batters and allowed just one walk.
For Cleveland, Derek Lowe (6-3) was torched in his worst outing of the year, allowing eight earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, raising his ERA from 2.15 to 3.25 in the process.
"Sometimes you just stink and there's no reason to analyze the game," Lowe said. "When you stink, you stink. It was a bad time for a really bad game."
Jason Kipnis went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and four RBI, and Michael Brantley contributed a bases-clearing double for the Tribe.
Ubaldo Jimenez will take the hill for the Indians on Sunday. His first full season as a member of the Indians has been largely a disappointment, with a 5.02 ERA, a 1.71 WHIP, and 38 walks to just 30 strikeouts.
But with some smoke and mirrors, Jimenez has managed to pull together a 5-3 record for his first-place squad. The right-hander is coming off back-to-back wins, and he is attempting to win three straight decisions for the first time since July 2011.
Jimenez has faced the White Sox in Chicago once already this season, lasting just 4 2/3 innings allowing eight hits, six walks, and four earned runs in a 7-2 defeat on May 1.
Gavin Floyd takes the hill for the White Sox, who up until mid-May was having a fine season, having allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his first seven starts.
However, the last two starts have been a disaster for the former first round pick. In back-to-back losses, Floyd has allowed an astounding 16 earned runs on 18 hits in 9 2/3 innings.
"I wish I could pinpoint certain things," Floyd said of his recent struggles. "(Hitters) have had a good game plan against me apparently and I've got to change that."
Floyd had success against Cleveland during 2011, going 2-1 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts.