On Friday against Houston, Gavin Floyd looked like the pitcher he was during a four-start stretch in late April through early May.
Unfortunately for the Sox, at times he also looked like the pitcher hes been in the four starts since that good stretch.
Floyd tied a season-high in strikeouts with nine, but gave up two home runs and four runs in Chicagos 8-3 loss at U.S. Cellular Field.
(Friday) was a big step for me, Floyd said. I felt great. It just felt like I was going out there having fun, attacking the mitt.
The Astros struck for a run each in the first and second inning, both times the result of Floyd losing out to the lead-off batter. Firs,t it was a double to Jose Altuve to start the game. He later scored on a sacrifice fly.
Then Floyd surrendered a 428-foot shot to Brett Wallace to open the second. Floyd was tagged again in the fifth when Jed Lowrie stroked a two-run home run.
Floyd now has surrendered 14 home runs, including six in his past two starts. Only the Angels Ervin Santana has allowed more in the major leagues.
Its just his location, and maybe the count, manager Robin Ventura said of Floyds propensity for giving up home runs. You fall behind and you give the guy the ability to sit on it and go after a fast ball and thats going to happen. So his location needs to be better when there are hitters counts.
Floyd has allowed a home run in five consecutive starts, including six over his past two. Pitching at U.S. Cellular Field -- known as a hitters park -- doesnt help. But Floyd wasnt using that as an excuse.
Youve just got to make better pitches, Floyd said. The ball does fly out of here, but Im not going to try to be less aggressive.
Still, it was a marked improvement for Floyd over the past month. He entered Friday 1-2 with an 11.44 ERA in his previous four starts. In the four starts prior to that, Floyd was 2-1 with a 1.26 ERA.
Floyd said he was able to get all four pitches in for strikes Friday, his fastball, slider, changeup and curveball. Ventura said the curve was especially important.
Thats the pitch he has to have control over on the outer half to be able to run his fastball in, Ventura said. (Friday) he was doing that, but they (still) got him a couple times.