White Sox-Twins Preview
By JEFF BARTL
(AP) -- 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."
The Twins, meanwhile, saw their top three hitters - Denard Span, Ben Revere and Joe Mauer - go a combined 9 for 14. Though they remain in last place in the AL Central, they're just 7 1/2 games out.
"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.
Updated June 26, 2012