It was Date Night at Comerica Park.
Justin Verlander failed to pitch into the seventh inning since May 24, which was also last game where he didn't record a quality start.
His counterpart, Gavin Floyd, recorded his first victory since June 1 with 7 2/3 strong innings, and his work allowed his team to hold a lead greater than one run for the first time since June 10.
Add them up, and the White Sox coasted to their first easy finish since June 19, for a surprisingly satisfying start to the second half. The last time they had defeated Verlander was Sept. 14, 2008, and they picked a great time to snap that skid.
A four-run third inning made the difference, as the White Sox took advantage of several mistakes by Verlander. He didn't trust his fastball for some reason, and the Sox made him pay.
Gordon Beckham started the rally with a one-out single on an 0-2 slider (he only threw one fastball). Mark Teahen then singled to center on a first-pitch changeup to move Beckham to third, and he scored on a great squeeze bunt by Juan Pierre, who reached when Victor Martinez couldn't get the out at home.
But wait -- there's more! After an Alexei Ramirez flyout, Paul Konerko drew a tough walk to load the bases for Adam Dunn. After a first-pitch fastball, Verlander threw two changeups. Dunn was able to pull the second through the shift on the right side for a two-run single, extending the lead to 3-0. Carlos Quentin then poked a 2-2 slider to right to make it 4-0.
More importantly, though, Floyd was able to regain control after wobbling in the bottom of the fourth. His inning started with A.J. Pierzynski letting a great swing-and-miss curveball get past him, allowing Magglio Ordonez to reach on a strikeout. Miguel Cabrera followed with a homer on a decent curve to cut the White Sox lead in half.
Victor Martinez followed with a single to really put the heat on Floyd, but to his credit, he settled down, retiring 12 of his next 13 batters while the Sox gradually extended their lead. In the fifth, the Sox had the bases loaded and nobody out, and (only) got a run out of it on a fielder's choice (progress!).
And after knocking out Verlander, the Sox scored three runs on Luis Oliveros on the seventh, with RBI singles by Quentin and Beckham. Quentin went 3-for-5 with three RBI, and Beckham 2-for-4 with two driven in. The White Sox went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position overall.
Really, the only bummer on the evening was Alex Rios, who went 0-for-5 with a double play and seven stranded.
Record: 45-48 | Box score | Play-by-play