The Chicago White Sox were counting on a strong rotation to keep them in contention this season, and after a first month filled with struggles, they liked what they saw in their opener against the Kansas City Royals.
The White Sox are hopeful Floyd’s most recent outing is a sign his early struggles are behind him, and he’ll look to follow Jake Peavy’s(notes) stellar start with one of his own Tuesday night against the visiting Royals.
Floyd (1-2, 6.49 ERA) had a 3.49 ERA after the All-Star break last season, but instead of picking up where he left off, he was 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA during his first four outings in 2010.
The right-hander finally delivered for the struggling Chicago rotation Thursday at Texas. Floyd gave up three runs - one earned - and five hits without a walk over seven innings in a 7-5 win over the Rangers.
“Outstanding,” manager Ozzie Guillen told the White Sox’s official website. “… I was confident he would throw the ball good. We needed an outing like that from him. Start building his confidence back from the beginning of the season. I think he’s starting to regroup and throw the ball better.”
Floyd is 16-6 with a 3.18 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field since 2008, and he has a 2.25 ERA in three home starts against Kansas City (10-16) in that stretch, though he’s only 1-2.
Floyd has done a solid job of shutting down two of the Royals’ biggest bats. Jose Guillen(notes) is hitting .182 (4 for 22) with four strikeouts against the right-hander, while Billy Butler(notes) is batting .200 (3 for 15).
Peavy did an impressive job of shutting down Kansas City’s offense in Monday’s opener. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner had a 7.85 ERA through five starts, but struck out nine over seven shutout innings while Alex Rios(notes) had three hits in a 5-1 victory.
“We played the way I think, personally the way we should be playing,” Ozzie Guillen said. “We got a few stolen bases, we got one home run, we played pretty good defense, the pitching was good.”
The Royals are hitting .196 and have scored 16 runs in losing five of seven, and part of those struggles can be attributed to Jose Guillen cooling off. The veteran outfielder was hitting .346 with seven homers and 18 RBIs through Kansas City’s first 19 games, but he’s 2 for 25 with 11 strikeouts in his last seven contests.
Trey Hillman’s club can’t be sure what it’s going to get from starter Luke Hochevar(notes) (2-1, 6.11) on Tuesday. The former No. 1 overall pick was 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA through four starts, but was tagged for nine runs and 11 hits over just 2 2-3 innings Thursday in an 11-1 loss at Tampa Bay.
“I’ve still got to find a way to keep the damage at a minimum and still keep us in that thing,” Hochevar told the Royals’ official website. “… There’s got to be a way that I have to figure out, in the midst of all that, to stop the damage.”
Returning to the South Side of Chicago might be just what he needs. Hochevar went the distance in Kansas City’s 11-0 victory at U.S. Cellular Field on Sept. 18, his second career complete game.