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Tough stuff and tough luck for Gavin Floyd

GavFloyd meeting with catcher RamCastro gave up only three hits seven innings. | Jim Cowsert~AP

Gavin Floyd, meeting with catcher Ramon Castro, gave up only three hits in seven innings. | Jim Cowsert~AP

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Updated: July 3, 2011 1:05PM

ARLINGTON, Texas — You know it’s bad when you hold the Texas Rangers to three hits in their ballpark and lose. That has happened twice here in 17 years.

Right-hander Gavin Floyd (5-4) was the White Sox’ tough-luck losing pitcher Wednesday. He had the third strong start in his last four with nothing to show for it, allowing two runs (one was unearned because of Gordon Beckham’s first error of the season in 299 chances) and three hits in seven innings.

“We’re all fighting out there,’’ Floyd said. “Their pitcher pitched real well. We were grinding it out, trying to produce runs, and it just didn’t happen.’’

Floyd lowered his ERA to 3.61. In his last four road starts, it’s 2.70.

“He’s got probably top-five stuff in the league with his cutter and curveball,’’ Sox left fielder Juan Pierre said. “I don’t think he knows how good he can be. He gives us a chance to win every time he goes out. It’s tough when you get such a good performance, and we can’t muster any runs.’’

“I just want to keep this team in the game,’’ Floyd said. “To achieve that today, especially against a lineup like that, . . . you have to brush it off, continue to work hard and try to do it again next time.’’

In case you missed it

The No. 3 spot in the lineup, especially when the Sox are on the road, agrees with Carlos Quentin, who hit three home runs Tuesday night to power the Sox to an 8-6 victory against the Rangers. The game ended at 1:27 a.m., so the feat didn’t get much play.

Quentin hit one in the first, third and ninth innings, the last blast after 1 a.m. because of a three-hour weather delay. He drove in five runs with the first three-homer game of his career. The most impressive was a 405-foot opposite-field shot.

“Going the other way is always a good sign for any hitter,’’ said Quentin, the first Sox batter to hit three homers on the road since Jose Valentin in 2003. “Especially being able to hit the ball in the gap and drive the ball.’’

On the road, Quentin ranks first in the American League in slugging (.723), home runs (10), doubles (11), RBI (28) and total bases (73). He’s fourth in runs (19).

“When Carlos gets hot, he can carry a club in a hurry,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said.

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