White Sox-Orioles Preview

Buck Showalter’s unbeaten start as Baltimore Orioles manager

continued through the opener of a series with the Chicago White

Sox.

With the way Chicago’s Gavin Floyd has pitched lately, the

Orioles will be hard-pressed to keep that run going.

The right-hander will try add to his string of impressive

efforts and deny the Orioles a season-high fifth straight win

Saturday night at Camden Yards.

Adam Jones’ two-out single drove home the winning run in Friday

night’s 2-1 victory in 10 innings, and Baltimore (36-73) improved

to 4-0 under Showalter.

“People are on their P’s and Q’s and playing the game,” Jones

said. “We’re just playing the game smarter, not really giving them

too many outs. We’re making all the double plays, the small things

that we weren’t doing. Just playing the game smarter, I would

say.”

Showalter began his managerial career 6-0 with the New York

Yankees in 1992, but he’s got a long way to go to match Joe Torre’s

major league-record 13-0 start with Atlanta in 1982.

“So far, so good,” Showalter said. “The guys are playing hard

and getting a return on it. I’m happy for them.”

Another strong outing from Floyd (7-8, 3.54 ERA) might prevent

Showalter from leading Baltimore to its longest winning streak

since a five-game run from June 17-21, 2009.

The 6-foot-6 right-hander has not yielded more than one earned

run in six consecutive starts and is 5-2 with a 1.06 ERA in his

last 11. He carried a perfect game into the sixth inning Sunday as

he beat Oakland, finishing with one run and four hits allowed over

seven frames in a 4-1 win.

“One of the most underrated, untalked about two months for any

starting pitcher I’ve seen,” reliever Matt Thornton told the White

Sox’s official website. “Absolutely lights out. Every game he has

started, we are either winning or in it all the way to the end.

He’s been amazing.”

Floyd is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA in three all-time starts against

the Orioles – none since 2008 – and 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two

outings at Camden Yards.

He’ll face a team hitting .324 in four games under Showalter –

65 points higher than its season average – but the White Sox lineup

could be in for a big day of its own against a struggling Kevin

Millwood (2-11, 6.05).

The veteran right-hander is 2-7 with an 8.84 ERA in his last 11

starts and has given up at least five runs in five straight

outings. Millwood has lost the past three, including Sunday’s 5-4

defeat at Kansas City as he allowed a season high-tying 11 hits in

5 2-3 innings.

He hasn’t had much better luck facing the White Sox (62-47) in

recent seasons, going 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA in the last three

matchups.

Millwood is 1-5 in 10 all-time starts against Chicago despite a

3.30 ERA.

The White Sox have been one of the hottest teams in the majors

since June 8 with a 38-14 record, but they have dropped eight of 14

on the road.