White Sox, Floyd continue Toronto skid
Chicago drops ninth straight at Rogers Centre behind righty
TORONTO -- Despite his struggles this year, Gavin Floyd maintains that when he steps on the mound for a start, he carries no pressure on his shoulders from what he's done in past outings.
Instead, the White Sox right-hander feels quite confident on the hill.
That confidence has clearly not translated into results, however, as Floyd's rocky outing on Sunday paved the way for the Sox to drop an 8-2 affair to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. With the loss, Chicago (15-21) has lost four straight games and 11 of its past 14.
"I feel like I can go out there and dominate every time," Floyd said after taking the loss Sunday. "It just hasn't gone my way. I feel like everything's great. I feel like I'm as aggressive as can be. I'm just not getting the results I wanted."
The latest struggles are nothing new for the 26-year-old right-hander, who signed a four-year, $15.5 million deal with Chicago in Spring Training. Floyd has not won a game since April 19 -- a span of five starts -- and it seems as though he is a world away from the pitcher who won 17 games last year.
"I know what I'm doing," said Floyd, "It's just a bad start. You have got to ignore what happened the past couple games and you just have got to move on."
After yielding six runs over five innings on Sunday, Floyd (2-4) has now posted a 9.95 ERA over his past five starts. During that time, he has surrendered 43 hits in just 25 1/3 innings.
"He needs to execute pitches," said White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, who handled managerial duties Sunday while Ozzie Guillen attended his son's graduation. "He obviously has the stuff. He's had good innings and bad innings. We have to somehow minimize the damage instead of giving up two or three runs. He needs to keep it to one and give us a chance."
To begin Sunday's game, Floyd received some immediate help from his teammates in the form of run support. Facing Toronto (26-14) ace Roy Halladay in the first inning, the White Sox used an aggressive approach to put five straight men on base with no outs. Chicago plated two of those runners on back-to-back RBI singles by Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko.
Armed with a two-run lead, Floyd then allowed a solo shot to Alex Rios in the bottom of the first.
"What you really want is to get two runs in the first inning and shut them down right away, and that didn't happen," Cora said. "They hit that home run and it kind of swings the momentum away."
Momentum stayed with Toronto in the fourth frame, when Jays designated hitter Adam Lind launched the first pitch he saw from Floyd over the right-center-field wall for a three-run shot, giving the Jays a 4-2 lead. Toronto added two more runs off the Sox starter in the fifth on a Marco Scutaro RBI double and an RBI groundout by Rios to push the score to 6-2.
"I made probably three mistakes, and two of them were home runs," Floyd said. "I felt like I had better focus this outing and felt like I was more aggressive, but I made some poor pitches when it counted and got hurt."
The 6-2 deficit seemed almost insurmountable against Halladay (8-1). The Toronto right-hander settled down considerably after his rough first inning, holding the White Sox to just three hits the rest of the way. Halladay lasted seven innings.
"You have got to just scratch and claw against a guy like that," said Scott Podsednik, who doubled and scored off Halladay in the first inning. "He's just going to keep his team in the ballgame."
In addition to the first inning, the White Sox led off three other frames with hits against Halladay but could not manage to push across any of those baserunners. It was frustratingly familiar output from an offense that has averaged just three runs over its 15 games in May.
"With a guy like Halladay pitching, if he gives you a chance, you have to take care of those chances, and it didn't happen," said Cora.
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.