The Chicago White Sox are hoping to head into a lengthy stretch against AL Central foes with some momentum.
Sweeping the Seattle Mariners on the road for the first time in 17 years could help.
After leaving Seattle, the White Sox will play 28 straight games against division opponents, beginning with a three-game home set against Minnesota. Their only remaining matchup with a non-AL Central team is a three-game series against Toronto to conclude the regular season.
Six of the 28 games are against first-place Detroit, the team the White Sox trail by seven games in the division.
Chicago (65-65) opened its brief West Coast trek by getting swept in a two-game series by the Los Angeles Angels, but it has rebounded by allowing a combined two runs in winning the first two against the Mariners (56-75).
Chicago has won 15 of 18 against the Mariners and four straight at Safeco Field, but hasn’t recorded a sweep in Seattle since the Mariners played in the Kingdome. The White Sox won four straight there June 23-26, 1994, and recorded their previous three-game sweep July 30-Aug. 1, 1993.
Judging by his recent outings against Seattle, Floyd (11-10, 4.45 ERA) might be the right man to have on the mound. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his last four matchups, giving up three hits over eight innings during his most recent start at Safeco - a 6-0 win May 7.
Floyd enters this start having won five of six decisions since the All-Star break after allowing three hits over seven innings during a 10-0 victory against Texas last Sunday.
“I felt good,” he said. “I just tried to carry in what I felt the past couple of games as far as focus.”
The left-hander bounced back Monday after giving up eight runs to Toronto on Aug. 16, but he did not get a decision after allowing two unearned runs over seven innings in a 3-2 win at Cleveland.
“I kind of changed the game plan and threw a lot more fastballs,” Vargas told the Mariners’ official website. “A lot of teams have been looking to see me out over the plate, and it’s just one of those things we changed tonight and went right after them.”
Vargas has no record and a 4.91 ERA in three career starts against Chicago. He gave up three runs over 7 1-3 innings during Seattle’s 7-4, 10-inning road win June 8.