Mariners-White Sox Preview
By MATT BECKER
(AP) -- The Chicago White Sox are feasting on opponents' pitching during their longest winning streak in two years.
To keep the run intact, they may need another strong offensive showing considering the way other teams have battered Gavin Floyd.
The White Sox hope to stay hot at the plate as they go for a 10th straight victory Saturday against the visiting Seattle Mariners.
After sitting four games under .500 and 4 1/2 out of first place in the AL Central on May 16, Chicago (30-22) has won 13 of 14 to take a 1 1/2-game lead over Cleveland in the division.
During the winning streak - the franchise's longest since an 11-game run June 15-26, 2010 - the White Sox are averaging 8.0 runs while batting .312 with 18 homers and 17 doubles.
In Friday's 7-4 win over Seattle, Gordon Beckham had his first career multihomer game and Adam Dunn also went deep. Alexei Ramirez drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out infield single in the eighth inning, and Alejandro De Aza had two hits and two RBIs. De Aza is batting .333 with 11 RBIs during the win streak.
"Right now we're on a good roll," said Beckham, who is batting .324 during an eight-game hitting streak, raising his average 25 points to .229. "It's first of June. We're doing the right things coming to work every day and hoping it's enough. The last week and a half it's been enough. You just can't get complacent because this game will humble you really quickly."
Chicago's offense certainly doesn't seem like it can afford to relax with the way Floyd (4-5, 5.02 ERA) is pitching.
Floyd has a 12.89 ERA and opponents are batting .412 in his last three starts after he posted a 1.26 ERA and limited opponents to a .165 average in his previous four. The right-hander allowed five runs and a season high-tying 10 hits in five-plus innings against Cleveland on Sunday but was bailed out by his offense in a 12-6 victory.
A start against the Mariners (23-31) might be what Floyd needs to get turned around.
Before scoring 31 runs in two wins over Texas this week, Seattle had 11 runs in losing its previous five games. The Mariners have experienced similar offensive problems against Floyd, who is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA in his last five starts in the series.
Floyd has had some trouble, however, against Ichiro Suzuki, who is 13 for 36 (.361) off him.
While Floyd has routinely shut down the Mariners, Seattle probable starter Hector Noesi (2-6, 5.01) had one of his worst outings April 20 against the White Sox, giving up six runs, six hits and two walks in 1 1-3 innings of a 7-3 loss. Dunn doubled in the first inning and hit a three-run homer in the second.
Dunn, who also homered in his only other at-bat against Noesi, has three home runs during the winning streak and leads the White Sox with 17.
Although Noesi struggled against Chicago earlier this season, he has been pitching much better lately.
The right-hander allowed three runs over eight innings in each of his last two starts but was backed by a total of three runs and got the loss in each. Against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, he gave up a pair of solo homers as well as three other hits in a 4-2 defeat.
Noesi finished May with a 3.22 ERA in five outings.
"He is consistently getting us deep into ball games and giving us the opportunity to win," manager Eric Wedge said.
Updated June 2, 2012