White Sox 9, Blue Jays 5
The Chicago White Sox never had much of a pleasant history in Toronto. Life is good in the present, however, on the AL Central leader's latest trip north of the border.
Adam Dunn hit his major league-leading 34th home run, Dayan Viciedo and DeWayne Wise also connected and the White Sox beat the Blue Jays 9-5 on Wednesday night, posting consecutive victories in Canada for the first time in six years.
''The goal is to win every series and with a win tonight we can put ourselves in that position tomorrow,'' Dunn said.
Chicago remained two games in front of Detroit atop the Central after the Tigers won at Minnesota earlier in the day.
Gavin Floyd pitched six innings to snap a three-start winless streak as the White Sox won consecutive games in Toronto for the first time since Aug. 4-5, 2006. Chicago came in having lost 16 of its previous 20 games at Rogers Centre.
Floyd (9-9) came in 0-3 with an 8.25 ERA in three career games at Toronto, but turned that around by allowing three earned runs and eight hits.
Floyd's last loss in Toronto came in May, 2011, when he coughed up a 14th inning homer to Corey Patterson. But the veteran right-hander said he's already forgotten the rest of Chicago's forgettable history here.
''The only thing I remember is coming out of the bullpen last year and getting a loss,'' Floyd said. ''I don't really remember too much other than that. I just try to live in the present. Whether you win or lose, everything else is in the past. You've just got to focus on the present.''
Floyd walked none and struck out eight, one shy of a season-high.
''Gavin came out throwing strikes,'' White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ''He was great early on. He made the one mistake to Johnson but he pitched great, he looked good.''
A.J. Pierzynski singled to begin the second, extending his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest active streak in the major leagues. Alexei Ramirez and Viciedo followed with singles to load the bases for Wise, who hit a sinking liner down the left field line. Making just his third appearance of the season in the outfield, Edwin Encarnacion dived for the ball but dropped it as he hit the ground in foul territory, giving Wise a two-run single.
Wise doubled Chicago's lead with a two-run blast to right in the fourth, his fourth, matching a career-high with four RBIs.
''He plays good defense, does a lot of different things,'' Ventura said of Wise. ''He's a solid player.''
Toronto's Omar Vizquel had two hits, including a leadoff single in the fourth that was the 2,866th of his career, tying him with former White Sox slugger and current first base coach Harold Baines for 43rd on the career list.
After moving to second on Anthony Gose's single, Vizquel stole third and scored when Kevin Youkilis failed to cover the bag, trotting home after Pierzynski's throw hit him and bounced into foul territory.
The Blue Jays tied it in the sixth when Encarnacion singled, David Cooper doubled and Johnson hit a one-out homer to right, his 14th.
Chicago wasted no time in reclaiming the lead. Ricky Romero left after walking Alejandro de Aza and hitting Youkilis with a pitch to open the seventh. Dunn broke the tie by crushing reliever Brad Lincoln's third pitch into the second deck in right.
Dunn said he expected a fastball after Lincoln fell behind 2-0, and got what he was looking for.
''I didn't care what the pitch was, I just wanted to make sure it was on the plate,'' Dunn said. ''I didn't want to go chasing stuff like I've been doing.''
Before the inning was over, the White Sox widened their lead when Pierzynski doubled and scored on a two-out homer by Viciedo, his 18th.
Floyd called the quick five-run outburst ''amazing.''
''A.J. kind of joked `We'll get them back,' and shoot, we put a five-spot up,'' Floyd said. ''It's exciting. This team, offensively and even pitching, we can battle with the best of them.''
The White Sox have hit 22 homers in their past 12 games.
Romero (8-10) allowed six runs and eight hits in six-plus innings. The left-hander has not won since June 22 at Miami, a span of 10 starts, and is 0-9 in that stretch.
''It feels like I haven't got rewarded all year with anything that I do,'' Romero said.
Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Friday, when he left with tightness in his right groin. Rasmus, who collected a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 3-2 loss, started as designated hitter. He went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts.
Making a rare start in place of regular second baseman Gordon Beckham, Orlando Hudson had to leave the game after fouling a ball of his left foot in the sixth. Beckham came on to finish the at-bat and remained in the game. Hudson bruised a big toe. X-rays were negative and he will be reevaluated Thursday.
NOTES: White Sox 1B Paul Konerko (concussion) hit in the cage and played catch Wednesday, and remains on track to come off the 7-day DL on Friday. ... Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia (fractured right hand) had his cast removed Wednesday and is now in a soft cast. He's due to resume swinging after a week of strengthening activities. ... Toronto RHP Jason Frasor (forearm) is throwing from 120 feet on flat ground and is scheduled to throw off the mound next week. ... Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind (back) continues to feel soreness after swinging. Lind has been out since July 26.