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Floyd racking up quality starts for Sox

Floyd racking up quality starts

CHICAGO -- If quality starts are a measuring stick for determining the success of a big league pitcher, then consider Gavin Floyd in a league of his own over the past month.

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Floyd enters Wednesday's game with nine quality starts, tied for the 12th most in the American League. But in his past six starts, Floyd has been nothing short of brilliant, producing quality starts in all six outings, a streak that began on May 22.

He carries a 1.61 ERA over those six starts and has tallied 38 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .172 (27-for-157) off him during that span.

Quality starts are awarded when a pitcher lasts at least six innings and allows no more than three earned runs. They began being tracked in 1985.

"You always want to win," Floyd said. "That's one thing that you want to do, but if you don't, then you can be happy with a quality start or close to it. I feel like I've been pitching well. I haven't been using that as a measuring stick, but I feel that I continue to work on things I need to work on and go out and give our team a chance to win."

During his breakout year in 2008, when he finished 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA, Floyd ranked 11th in the AL with 19 quality starts, but he never recorded more than three quality starts in a row.

This year's string of successful outings comes on the heels of one of Floyd's worst stretches as a pitcher during his six-year Major League career with the Phillies and White Sox.

Before Floyd's start on May 22, he carried a 7.71 ERA this season, the second-highest ERA among qualifying starters in the Majors. He has since lowered that season ERA to a respectable 4.65.

Floyd said his hot streak could not be attributed to any one reason.

"But if I had to say something, it would be the ability to throw strikes early in the count and try to get them to swing the bat," Floyd said. "I think that's one of the main reasons I've been able to go late in games. Hopefully, get quick outs and just try to throw strikes. And when I don't need to throw strikes, don't throw strikes."

Floyd will look to produce his seventh consecutive quality start on Wednesday night when he'll take on the Dodgers, a team he has struggled with in the past.

In three career games against the Dodgers, Floyd is 0-3 with a 10.50 ERA. In 12 innings, Floyd has allowed 19 hits and 14 earned runs.

Those numbers include Floyd's last start against the Dodgers, almost a year to the day of Wednesday night. On June 25, 2008, Floyd went 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits in a 5-0 loss.

Floyd said he wasn't all that concerned about those numbers, however -- just so long as he sticks with the same game plan that has him pitching like one of the American League's best over the last month.

"A couple times, I think I was with the Phillies and I wasn't myself," Floyd said. "It's one of those things where I just had a bad game last year, and the other ones, I wasn't even throwing strikes. That's in the past. I think any pitcher has a chance to beat any team. I don't really think about that."

Pitching matchup
CWS: RHP Gavin Floyd (4-5, 4.65 ERA)
Floyd has really come on strong of late, producing his sixth consecutive quality start on Thursday against the Cubs. He has allowed one earned run in each of his last three starts and carries a 1.58 ERA in his last six. During that span, Floyd has lowered his ERA from 7.71 to 4.65.

LAD: LHP Randy Wolf (3-2, 3.29 ERA)
Wolf came away from his most recent start against the A's with one of his specialties, a no-decision. He has 10 of them, only eight shy of the Los Angeles Dodgers record set by Odalis Perez in 2004. Wolf checked in with another quality start, allowing one run in six innings, while stranding five runners in scoring position. The Dodgers have won seven of his past eight starts.

Tidbits
The White Sox are 4-10 in their past 14 home games. ... Opposing pitchers facing the White Sox for the first time are 7-1 with a 1.46 ERA this season (12 earned runs in 74 innings pitched). ... John Danks has received 11 runs of support in seven starts at home this season. ... Paul Konerko extended his hitting streak to eight games with a home run in the second inning of Tuesday's game. He has hit safely in 12 of his past 13 games.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• WCIU

On radio
• WSCR 670, WRTO 1200 (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: White Sox (Clayton Richard, 2-1, 4.03) vs. Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 9-3, 2.83), 1:05 p.m. CT
• Friday: White Sox (Jose Contreras, 2-6, 5.23) vs. Cubs (Randy Wells, 1-3, 2.57), 3:05 p.m. CT
• Saturday: White Sox (Mark Buehrle, 7-2, 3.17) vs. Cubs (Ryan Dempster, 4-5, 3.83), 3:05 p.m. CT

Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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