- Doug Padilla, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: Normally dependable, the White Sox’s bullpen couldn’t support a solid outing from Gavin Floyd. Matt Lindstrom, Donnie Veal and Jesse Crain combined to give up four runs in the seventh inning after Floyd completed a day when he gave up one run over six innings. The Twins’ Aaron Hicks, who entered batting .042, drove in the first run of the seventh on a single, while Josh Willingham, batting .225 at the outset, delivered a three-run triple off Crain in the inning. White Sox relievers started the day leading the American League with a 1.63 ERA and a .177 opponents' batting average.
What it means: Runs continue to be hard to come by for the White Sox, who have now scored three times or less in eight of their 18 games this season. Three of the first five hitters in the White Sox lineup Sunday were batting .227 at the start of the game or less, including the first two, Alejandro De Aza and Jeff Keppinger. De Aza and Keppinger managed to deliver, though, as Keppinger brought home De Aza twice, even though it was on outs both times, with a ground out in the fourth inning and a fly ball in the sixth.
Outside the box: While it wasn’t enough to end talk of a slump, Adam Dunn did hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to snap an 0-for-31 dry spell. He had one hit in his previous 39 at-bats before going deep. Going back to Saturday’s game, Dunn had struck out five times in six trips to the plate against the Twins before hitting his home run off of reliever Josh Roenicke, his third of the season. He later struck out to end the game.
Off beat: On the one-year anniversary of Philip Humber's perfect game in Seattle last season, Floyd actually retired the first seven batters he faced before a walk to Hicks. Floyd didn’t give up his first hit until Willingham touched him for a single with one out in the fourth inning. After giving up a combined nine runs over his last two starts, Floyd’s outing Sunday was his best of his four appearances this season. He gave up just three hits to go along with the one run he allowed.
Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.70 ERA) to the mound Monday against Cleveland in the opener of a three-game series. The Indians will counter with right-hander Justin Masterson (3-1, 1.67) in the 7:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.
1dTony Lee, Special to ESPN.com
2dTony Lee, Special to ESPN.com