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White Sox fall to Cardinals as Gavin Floyd gets rocked again

Chicago White Sox v St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago White Sox v St. Louis Cardinals

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Updated: July 16, 2012 6:41AM

ST. LOUIS — As White Sox manager Robin Ventura takes roll call to see which of his starting pitchers are on board for the task of trying to win the American League Central, he finds Chris Sale and Jake Peavy present and accounted for.

John Danks? The Opening Day starter was thought to be on the way, but, with his left shoulder barking at him Thursday, his return date is unknown.

Philip Humber? Missing in action since his perfect game April 21 and fighting to stay in the rotation.

Gavin Floyd? His ERA in his last six starts stands at an unsightly 10.38 after he put the Sox in a 5-0 hole against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. Floyd couldn’t finish the fifth inning, and the Cardinals went on to a 5-3 victory in the rubber game of the three-game series.

Adam Dunn’s three-run homer against Jake Westbrook (5-6) in the sixth inning made a game of it, but the hole was too deep.

While Ventura patiently waits, Floyd (4-7) said he’ll go back to work expecting better results like he had while breezing through his first seven starts with a 2.53 ERA.

“If you don’t get the results, it’s tough, it’s frustrating,’’ Floyd said. “I’m going to keep on grinding, I’m going to try to win ballgames. No point in focusing on not getting results. I’m going to keep on battling and keep on fighting because I know this is going to turn around.’’

Floyd gave up three doubles, a two-run homer to David Freese with a fastball he tried to run inside but couldn’t and he walked Westbrook twice.

Floyd struck out five, an indication of the stuff his teammates and coaches rave about. But his issue is executing pitches.

“Guys don’t want to face Gavin Floyd, especially when he’s got it going,’’ Peavy said before the game.

“Everything that Gavin throws is plus stuff. His fastball, movement, the ball out of his hand, his big curveball is one of the best in the league. Slider, changeup, all of his pitches are above major-league average. The big thing with Gavin is location and having a little bit of an attitude. He’s starting to understand who he is and being free. He can be his own worst enemy. He is going to do good things for this ballclub.’’

Floyd was KO’d by Matt Adams’ two-run, bases-loaded single with two outs in the fifth. Ventura, who considered left-hander Will Ohman to face Adams but held off with switch-hitter Carlos Beltran (illness) looming as a pinch hitter, visited Floyd on the mound before Adams’ big hit.

Thanks to some pop in their lineup, the Sox are holding onto first place despite having a fraction of their rotation functioning properly. Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana has been a godsend with the disabled Danks, who is hoping to come back next week.

“With the team doing well, you want to be a part of the success, you want to succeed when the team is succeeding,’’ Floyd said. “It’s exciting to think that when things do come around, we’ll be firing on all cylinders. We can be even better.’’

Dunn, playing left field on a sore ankle, hit his 22nd home to tie Josh Hamilton for the major-league lead. Dunn’s 50 RBI are eight more than he had in 2011, so he knows what Floyd is feeling.

“Hopefully it’s not something that will get in his head,’’ Dunn said. “I don’t think it will. His stuff is too good.’’

That’s the Sox’ story, and Floyd is sticking to it.

“One of these days it will turn around, and I’ll look back and laugh at it,’’ Floyd said. “Right now it’s tough.’’

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