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News » White Sox-Blue Jays Preview 2009-05-16

White Sox-Blue Jays Preview 2009-05-16

White Sox-Blue Jays Preview 2009-05-16
Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay has dominated opponents as he continues to get ahead in the count. Chicago White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd has had a hard time finding the plate.

Halladay tries to win his fifth straight start and pick up his major league-best eighth victory Sunday afternoon as the AL East-leading Blue Jays look for their ninth consecutive home win over the slumping White Sox.

Battling former Blue Jay A.J. Burnett in his last start, Halladay (7-1, 2.95 ERA) threw a five hitter in Tuesday's 5-1 win over the New York Yankees.

"(Halladay) showed why he's the best around and why he's going to continue to be the best around," Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon said.

Halladay, tied with Kansas City right-hander Zack Greinke for the most wins in baseball, retired 17 in a row against New York at one point as he pounded the plate with first-pitch strikes to 24 of 30 hitters.

"I just tried to work ahead and stay down," Halladay told the Blue Jays' official Web site.

Halladay is 4-4 with a 3.44 ERA in 14 appearances against the White Sox (15-20). He last faced them April 26 in a 4-3 win in Chicago, striking out six over seven innings.

Floyd (2-3, 7.32) makes his second start of the season against Toronto (25-14). He gave up six runs and nine hits in a 14-0 loss to the Blue Jays on April 24.

In Monday's 9-4 loss to Cleveland, Floyd yielded season highs of eight runs and 11 hits. Floyd, who has 13 strikeouts and 12 walks in his last four starts, did not throw a first-pitch strike to any of the first 11 batters he faced.

"In the big leagues, if you don't throw a strike, I don't care how good you are, you're going to get killed," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He couldn't throw his curve for strikes because he couldn't throw his fastball for strikes. You have to command your fastball to make the other pitches work."

After going 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA in 2008 and signing a four-year, $15.5 million deal in the offseason, Floyd is 0-2 with a 9.74 ERA in his last four starts.

"I'm trying to hit corners and be perfect with everything instead of just going after people and make them put the ball in play," he said.

The Blue Jays have been doing plenty of that against the White Sox this season, batting .341 (62 for 182) in winning four of five. Toronto improved to 14-6 at Rogers Centre on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Chicago, which has dropped three straight and 10 of 13.

The White Sox, who led 1-0 in the eighth inning, had three hits and are batting .187 during their losing streak.

"We went with our best, but it's tough to hold that team," said bench coach Joey Cora, who managed the club while Guillen attended his son's college graduation in Chicago.

"To win 1-0 against that team would have been tough and obviously it didn't happen."

Guillen will return for the series finale Monday.

White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin missed Saturday's game with a sore left heel. He will return to Chicago for treatment if he hasn't improved before Sunday's game.

Toronto's Marco Scutaro went 3 for 4 on Saturday and is batting .500 (10 for 20) with three RBIs against the White Sox this season. Scutaro is 5 for 6 lifetime versus Floyd.

Chicago's last win in Toronto was 3-0 on June 1, 2007.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 16, 2009

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