White Sox rout Cubs behind Gavin Floyd, Gordon Beckham
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org June 20, 2012 10:44PM
Teammates congratulate Gordon Beckham (15) after his three-run homer in the sixth. The blast gave the White Sox a 6-0 lead. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: July 23, 2012 7:35AM
For the White Sox, the crosstown series had less to do with a rivalry and more to do with getting on track again.
Gavin Floyd helped put the train back on the rails with his best performance in more than a month.
Floyd held the Cubs scoreless through 61/3 innings Wednesday, and the bullpen finished the job in a 7-0 victory, preventing a sweep of the three-game series by the Cubs.
‘‘We’ve done a good job of not being swept,’’ said Gordon Beckham, the hitting star with four RBI, including a three-run homer. ‘‘The Cubs had been playing well, and they showed that the last few days.’’
The Cubs haven’t swept a series on the South Side since 2007.
More important for the Sox was remaining a half-game behind Cleveland in the American League Central — and seeing Floyd pitch so well.
‘‘Gavin pitched a great game all the way through,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘He had great command and gave us what we needed.’’
Floyd (5-7) had only one victory in his six previous starts. But he allowed only four hits, walked one and struck out four as 32,311 at U.S. Cellular Field watched the Sox take the season series 4-2.
‘‘He had his curveball going as much as anything,’’ Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘He backdoored it and kept us off balance all night. That’s when he’s toughest, with that curveball working.’’
Floyd admitted the win was important personally and for the team.
‘‘I just want to keep us in the ballgame and play well,’’ Floyd said. ‘‘I knew things were going to work out. Just keep on working hard. ... I always felt if things are going bad, they’re always going to go well because I think everybody believes in our pitching staff and me.’’
Floyd was at his best in the sixth after Starlin Castro led off with a triple. He struck out Bryan LaHair and Alfonso Soriano and got Steve Clevenger to ground out.
The Cubs’ hopes for completing a sweep were in the hands of Randy Wells, the emergency fill-in for Ryan Dempster, who went on the disabled list Monday with tightness in his right lat.
‘‘Wells hasn’t been stretched out that much working from the bullpen,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘He’s been fighting to get back to form pitching out of the bullpen and in long roles.’’
Wells (1-2) lasted into the fourth but gave up three runs, five hits and four walks.
‘‘The four walks, it’s just unacceptable,’’ Wells said.
Beckham, who drove in a run in the fourth, hit his homer in the sixth off Scott Maine. His four RBI matched his career high for the second time this season.
The Sox added a run off Casey Coleman in the seventh, but Coleman also got hit when Eduardo Escobar’s bat flew to the mound. He wasn’t hurt and walked off with the trainer after Escobar was thrown out.