Chicago (53-39) at Texas (48-45)

Cloudy Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Jul 11, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Gavin Floyd has helped the Chicago White Sox boast one of the best pitching staffs in the majors, but they have yet to contend with the Texas Rangers’ hard-hitting offense.

Floyd will try to contain Texas’ bats on Friday as the White Sox open a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark.

AL Central-leading Chicago (53-38) has compiled a 3.40 ERA—tying Oakland for the top spot in the league.

None of its pitchers, though, were named an All-Star, but Floyd (10-4, 3.22 ERA) has looked like one recently.

The right-hander is 6-1 with a 3.55 ERA over his last eight starts. He pitched 7 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and fanning six in a 6-1 victory over Oakland on Saturday.

Floyd now looks to become the fourth AL pitcher with at least 11 wins.

“I’m conscious of it. … I’m just thankful things have gone this way so far,” said Floyd, who had eight victories in his previous four seasons.

To continue his career year, Floyd takes his game on the road, where he is 3-3 with a 4.38 ERA in seven starts. His lone appearance against the Rangers came in Texas on Aug. 28, when he came away without a decision after allowing three runs and six hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss.

Floyd has held batters to a .207 average, but Texas (48-45) has hit .282 and leads the league with 512 runs.

That offense was on display again Thursday as the Rangers used a season-high 20-hit attack to overcame a five-run deficit before losing 11-10 in 11 innings to the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels for a split of the four-game home series.

“Nobody thought we were in that game, but we fought back,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

All-Star Josh Hamilton homered for the second straight night on Thursday and pushed his major league leading RBI total to 91. He has batted .302 (13-for-43) with two homers and 13 RBIs over his last 11 games, but has never faced the White Sox.

Fellow All-Star Ian Kinsler, meanwhile, has hit .424 (39-for-92) during a career-best 22-game hitting streak.

The White Sox had their four-game winning streak snapped when they wasted a stellar outing from Mark Buehrle in a 4-1 loss at Kansas City on Thursday. Buehrle took a four-hit shutout into the eighth inning, where an error by first baseman Paul Konerko gave way to a four-run rally.

Right fielder Jermaine Dye homered to snap out of an 0-for-13 slump hours after learning he’d finished second in fan balloting for the final AL All-Star spot. Dye is hitting .301 with 20 homers for Chicago, which has won 11 of its last 14 games.

The Rangers went 4-2 versus Chicago last season, winning all three games in Texas from Aug. 28-30 in the teams’ most recent series.

They’ll hand the ball to struggling Luis Mendoza (1-3, 7.54), who is 0-3 with a 10.91 ERA in five starts. The right-hander will pitch on three days’ rest after he was tagged for eight runs in 1 1-3 innings in a 51-pitch outing in a 9-6 home loss to the Angels on Monday.

Mendoza has never faced Chicago.

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Starting Pitchers

G. Floyd Cle vs. L. Mendoza KC
17-8 Record 3-8
3.84 ERA 8.67
145 K 35
70 BB 25
1.26 WHIP 1.93

Scoreboard

Friday, Jul 11