CHICAGO (AP)—Gavin Floyd’s concentration was on pitching, little else, when someone near the dugout let him know what was going on. He was working on a no-hitter.
“Not until like maybe the fifth inning. I didn’t realize,” Floyd said. “I was just trying to lock in with the mitt and some fan was like, `Yeah, you got a no-hitter going.’ And I was like, `Oh, thanks.”’
“For two years I felt like I was pitching in somebody else’s body and just kind of now I feel comfortable,” said Floyd, a 2001 first-round draft pick of the Phillies.
“I could care less about the no-hitter. I was just trying to go out there and throw strikes and get people out and that’s all I was focused on.”
Floyd (2-0) had never pitched more than seven innings in the majors. He left the game after Renteria’s hit on his 107th pitch, and exited to a standing ovation from the rain-soaked crowd at U.S. Cellular Field.
Floyd, whose career with the Phillies never took off, struck out four and walked four in 7 1-3 innings on a 39-degree day.
“It’s still early. He’s only had two starts, but you can see a different demeanor about him. The way he carries himself, the way he walks around the mound, the way he walks around clubhouse,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
“You can see he has confidence and he believes he belongs here.”
Renteria hit a 1-1 pitch on a line to right-center and the ball fell well in front of right fielder Jermaine Dye. Floyd came close nearly one year after Chicago’s Mark Buehrle pitched a no-hitter on the same field against Texas.
“The guy I was worried about is the guy who got it and he’s such a good hitter, such a tough out,” Pierzynski said of Renteria. “He is so hard to pitch to because he can do what he did. The ball is inside and he hit a line drive to right center.”
Floyd began the day with a 9-10 career record and a 6.24 ERA. He’s been especially effective against the Tigers, who have one of the AL’s best lineups.
Floyd is now 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four starts against Detroit since last September. He is 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts against other teams in that span.
After Floyd left, Scott Linebrink relieved and got Ivan Rodriguez to hit into an inning-ending double play. The White Sox turned three double plays in dropping Detroit to 2-9, the worst record in the majors.
“When he missed, he was effectively wild,” Detroit’s Brandon Inge said. “The ones he might have slipped a little bit were up and in on guys. That makes it difficult to stay in on his very good breaking ball.”
Reliever Bobby Jenks allowed an infield single in the ninth for Detroit’s only other hit.
In the eighth, Verlander beaned Cabrera in the helmet and the White Sox went on to score six more runs.
“It’s scary, throwing the ball and hitting guys in the head. By no means did I mean to do it,” Verlander said. “I didn’t have a feel for the ball in that inning and things like that happen. I was glad to see he was all right.”
Cabrera was checked out by a doctor after the game and was given a clean bill.
After falling to the ground when the ball hit him near the left ear flap, Cabrera got to his feet and stayed in the game. Jim Thome singled to load the bases and Verlander hit Paul Konerko with another pitch to force in a run. One out later, Pierzynski delivered a two-run single to finish Verlander.
Floyd, the fourth overall player picked in 2001, made his 31st major league start. He got an extra day’s rest this week because of a rainout.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Floyd was acquired from Philadelphia for Freddy Garcia and Gio Gonzalez in December 2006. He made 10 starts for Chicago last season when he split time between the majors and Triple-A.
Verlander allowed four hits and was charged with six runs in 7 2-3 innings. He fell to 1-6 against the White Sox in his career, including 0-4 at U.S. Cellular Field.
The infield became a quagmire by the bottom of the eighth from the steady rain. … Tigers 1B Carlos Guillen strained his right hamstring running to first base Friday night and was out of the lineup Saturday, with Miguel Cabrera moving from third to first. Cabrera made his first major league start at first.