Gavin Floyd overcame some early-game shakiness to put together a nice outing Saturday, making a run at a no-hitter and eclipsing his 2007 win total in the process.
It looked like it was going to be a rough one for Floyd in the first inning. He walked The Unsinkable Clete Thomas after AJ Pierzynski dropped a 3-2 foul tip. Thomas would immediately steal second, and move into third on Placido Polanco's flyout. A nice pick and throw home from Joe Crede when Thomas went home on the contact play saved a run from blemishing Floyd's line. Carlos Quentin crashed into the outfield wall to catch a near-homer from Magglio Ordonez to close an eventful, unscored upon first.
The hard outs and walks would keep on coming through the first few innings. Nick Swisher made what is becoming his trademark defensive play, a basket catch on the warning track in the third, and Jermaine Dye had to run one down in the gap in the second. Floyd used double plays to wipe out walks in the third and fourth, so it's little wonder I hadn't realized he had a no-hitter working up to that point.
Floyd might not have known either.
He must have gotten a glimpse of the scoreboard as he took the mound in the fifth, because he started to put hitters away the rest of the game. There was one good drive by Pudge in the 5th, but other than that, the Tigers didn't mount much of anything against Floyd until Edgar Renteria's bloop single broke up the no-hitter in the 8th.
Floyd is now 3-0, with a 2.43 ERA in 37 innings against the Tigers. His two quality starts to begin the season give him 7 in his last 8 starts dating back to last season.
Scott Linebrink needed just two pitches to erase Renteria's single, recording the White Sox third double play turned of the game. Unofficially, as in I'm not sure this stat is 100% accurate, that gives them 19 on the year in 10 games. I tried querying Baseball-Reference's Play Index in every way I know how to find the Sox season record for DP's turned, but came up empty. Though I do agree with Larry, I remember it being from the 2000 team (189 is my guess). [Update by The Cheat, 04/12/08 6:21 PM CDT ]: Larry found the answer, 190 double plays turned in 2000.
Orlando Cabrera's solo homerun was the offense for most of game. But when Justin Verlander provided some free bases in the form of a walk and two HBPs in the 8th, the Sox demonstrated their renewed ability to break a game open. Pierzynski, Quentin, and Juan Uribe provided the two-out damage to turn a nail-biting pitcher's duel into a laugher, and the third time the Tigers have been shut out this season.
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Jerry Owens is scheduled to begin his rehab stint tonight in Charlotte. I'm taking this as good news because Alexei Ramirez hasn't received a start since game 2 -- not that I'm complaining, but I'd rather see him getting regular work in Charlotte. And the quickest way to accomplish that feat is to have Owens taking his spot on the bench.