It could be the White Sox's inability to beat the Tigers this season that keeps them out of the postseason. If only Gavin Floyd could start every game against the division rival.
Floyd takes aim at a fourth straight winning decision this afternoon when Chicago tries to make up ground on first-place Detroit in the second of three straight games between the clubs.
The right-handed Floyd has won six of his past seven decisions while going at least seven innings in five of his last eight outings. That includes a win at Seattle on Sunday as he gave up two runs on five hits over 7 1/3 innings with six strikeouts.
"It was an all-around good ballgame," said Floyd, who was backed by homers from Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo. "To get run support is nice."
Floyd is 12-10 with a 4.36 earned run average in 26 starts this season and has been solid in 15 road outings, going 8-5 with a 3.08 ERA.
The 28-year-old has had much success against the Tigers in his career, going 6-1 with a 3.31 ERA in 15 starts. He picked up a victory at Detroit on July 15, allowing one earned run in 7 2/3 innings.
The White Sox, though, have lost eight of 13 so far to the Tigers this year, including five of seven in Detroit following last night's 8-1 defeat. Starter John Danks was knocked around for eight runs over 4 2/3 innings to suffer the loss as Chicago fell 6 1/2 games behind Detroit in the American League Central.
"We've put ourselves in a pretty bad position here but we're not out of it," said Danks.
Flowers hit a home run for the White Sox, who have lost two straight following a win in five in a row.
Justin Verlander got plenty of support en route to his 21st victory of the season. He allowed one run over 7 1/3 frames to earn his ninth straight win, getting supported by Austin Jackson's two-run homer and a three-run double by Jhonny Peralta.
"Another stellar performance," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Verlander. "It was kind of a neat night because Justin picked the guys up and the guys picked Justin up."
Delmon Young added an RBI triple for the Tigers, who have won three of four and also maintained a 5 1/2-game advantage over the Indians in the standings while picking up the game over the White Sox.
Chicago will try to solve Tigers starter Brad Penny, who has won all three of his career starts versus the club with a 2.89 ERA. One of those wins came on July 17, when the righty gave up three runs over 6 2/3 innings.
Penny is coming off a horrid outing at Minnesota on Sunday as he was denied a third straight winning decision. The 33-year-old was drilled for seven runs on eight hits over five innings of an 11-4 defeat, dropping to 9-10 with a 5.07 ERA in 26 starts.
"I didn't really have a good breaking ball today," said Penny. "Didn't have a lot of opportunities to throw it and get a feel for it, but I felt strong, my arm felt great."