White Sox-Angels Preview
By KATE HEDLIN
(AP) -- While the Los Angeles Angels are mounting a late charge for the second AL wild card, the Chicago White Sox are watching their lead in the AL Central evaporate.
Jered Weaver aims to become the AL's first 19-game winner Sunday when the Angels conclude a three-game series against the slumping White Sox, who could fall out of first place in the Central by the end of the night.
Los Angeles (83-69) pulled within 2 1/2 games of Oakland for the second wild card after a 4-2 win Saturday, combined with the Athletics' second straight extra-inning loss in New York.
The Angels (83-69) have won six of nine. Mark Trumbo's two-run double capped a four-run first Saturday and Dan Haren went six innings.
"Every guy has a ton of fight left in them and that's really what you want," Trumbo said.
The Angels figure to have a good shot at the sweep with Weaver (18-4, 2.79 ERA), who will look to win his third straight start. After throwing seven scoreless innings against Oakland on Sept. 13, he gave up three runs on a pair of homers over seven innings of an 11-3 win against Texas on Tuesday for his 100th career victory.
"It's an honor to do it all in an Angels uniform," said Weaver, a Los Angeles-area native. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
Getting win No. 101 may not be any more difficult given his success against the White Sox. The right-hander is 6-2 with a 1.61 ERA in nine career outings versus Chicago.
Paul Konerko is 1 for 20 against Weaver. Konerko homered Saturday, but is hitting .172 (5 for 29) over his last eight games.
Chicago (81-70) has totaled seven runs during a four-game skid which has cause its Central lead to dwindle to one-half game over Detroit. The Tigers play a doubleheader against Minnesota on Sunday.
"There's stress and stuff like that because you want to win games, but we'd rather be doing this than trying to ruin somebody else's postseason chances," said manager Robin Ventura, who was ejected for arguing a balk call.
The White Sox, looking to avoid their first five-game skid since July 18-22, will hand the ball to Gavin Floyd (10-10, 4.50), who is coming off one of his better recent outings.
Floyd allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings of Tuesday's 3-2 win against Kansas City, his second start after his second stint of the season on the disabled list due to elbow problems.
The right-hander failed to make it out of the fifth against Detroit on Sept. 12, and had been unable to make it out of the third in his final two starts prior to going on the DL.
"It's great especially after sitting for 15 days and more than that before," he said. "It's nice to get back out there and just be part of the team and contribute."
Floyd has been knocked around in two starts against the Angels this season - both Chicago losses - allowing 12 runs and 18 hits over 12 1-3 innings.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols is 3 for 7 with a pair of home runs against Floyd this year, while rookie phenom Mike Trout is 4 for 6.
Updated September 23, 2012