WASHINGTON -- Chicago White Sox starter Gavin Floyd looked sharp during his first time through the Washington lineup. He didn’t fare as well the second and third time around, the fate of many pitchers who face the Nationals.
The Nats touched up Floyd for five runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 5-2 victory over Chicago on Wednesday night. Floyd struck out seven -- four in the first three innings -- but gave up eight of his nine hits in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings against a strong Washington team.
“It’s a well-balanced lineup,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You get to that fifth, sixth inning, it’s hard to get through it again another time. You’re looking at a pretty complete team, and it’s tough to get through them three times.”
That was Floyd’s problem. Bryce Harper crushed Floyd’s first pitch of the fourth inning halfway into the second deck in right for a game-tying homer. Danny Espinosa gave Washington the lead for good at 2-1 later in the inning with an RBI single.
The Nationals banged out three straight hits in the fifth, the last being Ryan Zimmerman’s RBI single for a 3-1 lead. Alex Rios’ RBI grounder cut it to 3-2 in the sixth, but the Nationals got to Floyd (0-2) one final time in the bottom half, scoring twice more on three hits, two off of him before Ventura pulled the right-hander.
“I thought I made pretty good pitches,” Floyd said. “I felt pretty good out there. Early on, I was kind of cruising, and then [it was] kind of one hit after the other. They have a very good lineup, one through eight.”
Floyd enjoyed pitching close to home. He’s originally from Annapolis, Md., less than an hour’s drive away, and Floyd was looking forward to seeing his parents after the game.
“It’s definitely special when you come back near home so you can have some time together,” Floyd said. “It’s like any other game, [but you] just enjoy it and the times you’re here.”