On Thursday, Floyd will try to snap a five-game losing streak as he takes the mound for the White Sox, who look to complete a sweep of the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves and get their ninth straight victory.
Chicago (36-34) was 9 1/2 games out of first place on June 8, but it has won eight straight and 12 of 13 to move within 3 1/2 games of the division-leading Twins. It trails the second-place Tigers by two games.
“I used to hate walking into (the postgame news conference). Now I can’t wait to come here,” manager Ozzie Guillen said after a 4-2 win Wednesday. “This is the way we thought we were going to play. A lot of people think this is a fluke, but we’ve got a good ballclub.”
Mark Buehrle(notes) provided the White Sox a seventh straight quality start, giving up two runs in six innings while escaping several jams. Chicago’s starters have a 2.21 ERA during the 13-game surge, winning 11.
Floyd (2-7, 5.20 ERA) is the lone starter who hasn’t picked up a win during this stretch. He is winless since limiting Florida to one run in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-1 victory May 22.
He has a 1.43 ERA in his last three starts, but the White Sox have scored only three runs in those games. Floyd is 0-3 with a 3.41 ERA in his previous five outings and yielded one run and four hits in eight innings against Washington Friday in a 2-1, 11-inning victory.
Floyd is 1-1 with a 9.95 ERA in four starts and one relief appearance against the Braves. However, he is facing them for the first time since 2006.
The right-hander will look to help the White Sox win nine in a row for the first time since June 15-24, 2006.
Having lost a series for the first time since dropping two of three at Philadelphia from May 7-9, the Braves (42-30) will attempt to avoid the sweep. They came in having won five straight, but their lead over the Mets in the NL East is down to one-half game.
“We should have beat them,” added Tim Hudson(notes), who gave up three of his four runs in the fourth inning. “They ended up doing just enough to beat us, but we had opportunities to score all night.”
Lowe gave up three runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday. He has won four of his last five decisions and has a 3.82 ERA over that stretch.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 4.29 ERA in six starts against the White Sox. He’s also made 17 relief appearances against them.