The White Sox opened the second half of their season with an unexpected performance, drubbing Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers 8-2 on Friday, keeping pace with the first place Indians while gaining a game on Detroit.
The Tigers ace lasted only six innings, his shortest outing in almost two months, allowing five runs on seven hits.
Gavin Floyd enjoyed not having to be perfect, being staked to a 4-0 lead in the third inning. He gave up two runs on six hits and pitched 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since June 15 and first win since June 1.
Gordon Beckham drove in a pair with a two-out single in the seventh to put things away. Alex Rios went 0-for-5, but Quentin, Dunn and Beckham all getting clutch hits and driving in multiple runs builds a good foundation for a challenging second-half schedule. The Sox are going to need to score runs, and Paul Konerko can’t do all the heavy lifting in order to get this team to the postseason.
The White Sox sit five games out of first place but can change that very quick with their next 11 games all against A.L. Central foes, including eight against the Tigers and Indians.
Edwin Jackson (5-7, 4.30 ERA) was lights out in the second half last season after coming over to the south side – he will try to continue that dominance Saturday against Max Scherzer (10-4, 4.69), who entered the break with a strong outing (6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB) after losing his two previous decisions.