Still the team setting the pace in the American League Central, the Chicago White Sox try to add to their current win streak as they close out a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners this afternoon.
The White Sox, who own a lead of 2 1/2 games over Detroit for first place in the division, got off to a bit of a shaky start in Saturday night's contest as they surrendered three runs in the top of the first inning, but the squad buckled down and permitted just one more run the rest of the way in order to capture a 5-4 victory.
Chicago starter Jose Quintana was a bit sloppy on the mound as he allowed three runs on five hits and four walks, striking out four over 5 2/3 innings, but the bullpen managed to smooth out the rest of the contest as Addison Reed shook off a solo home run hit by Kyle Seager to capture his 24th save of the season.
Seager actually had a pair of home runs for the Mariners, a club that has dropped two in a row after ripping off eight consecutive victories. The third baseman finished with four RBI.
"We had them kind of on the ropes and we were a couple big swings from maybe even getting him (Quintana) out of the ballgame early and that completely changes the complexion of the whole game," said Seager as he took over the team lead in home runs with 15 and now has a team-leading 73 RBI as well. "He came back and ended up throwing a really good game and going six innings. You have to give him credit. He did a good job bouncing back."
Seattle starter Bake Beavan was touched for four runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out just two over 5 1/3 innings as he fell to an even 8-8 on the campaign.
Shooting for his highest win total since 2009 when he finished 13-10 as a member of the Texas Rangers, Kevin Millwood is set to trot out to the mound for the Mariners this afternoon.
Topping out at four wins in both 2010 and 2011 with the Orioles and Rockies, respectively, Millwood has a mark of 4-10 at the moment with his newest club through 24 starts but has won just once since May 24. The right-hander has failed to pick up a decision in either of his last two contests, both of which resulted in wins for his team.
On Monday the North Carolina native allowed three runs on five hits and three walks over six innings, but he also failed to record a single strikeout for the first time this season.
If history is any indication of how Sunday's game will turn out for Millwood, he'd be better off skipping his start because he's already lost once to the Sox this season and is a mere 1-7 in 13 career appearances versus the club.
Countering for Chicago will be Gavin Floyd who will be seeking his fourth win in the last five decisions.
The right-hander had some serious trouble getting into a groove in his most appearance on Monday against the Yankees, taken out after just 2 1/3 innings during which he allowed three runs on five hits and four walks. The Sox ended up winning the game, 9-6, but he did not factor into the decision.
Earlier this season Floyd matched up against the Mariners and was knocked around for five runs on nine hits, including four home runs over five innings, but again he did not earn a decision. For his career Floyd is 4-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 15 games versus Seattle.
Seattle, which trails in the season series with the Sox by a count of 7-1 and was swept at home by Chicago back in April, has had problems scoring runs all season long. The club is last in the AL with a total of just 503 runs scored, 93 fewer than a Chicago club that has played one less game. The Mariners have a slugging percentage of .367 which is also last in the league, not to mention an overall batting average of just .234 which is better than only Oakland at the moment.