LIVE: Floyd, White Sox facing Indians

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LIVE: Floyd, White Sox facing Indians

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011
Posted: 8:50 a.m.

(AP) -- Not long ago, the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians were contenders in the AL Central race. Now, both are playing out the string as a disappointing season draws to a close.

The teams begin a four-game set with a day-night doubleheader Tuesday at Progressive Field, where Chicago has won four of five meetings.

The White Sox and Indians both trailed first-place Detroit by 5 12 games on Sept. 1, only to falter amidst slumps which took them out of contention. Cleveland (75-75) fell below .500 during a 2-8 stretch, while Chicago (74-78) halted a seven-game losing streak Sunday by beating Kansas City 10-5.

"It was nice to have a good day and get a win. It feels like its been a while," said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who had two homers among his four hits. "That gives us a chance to relax a bit. You feel like every day you're grinding, grinding, grinding and now we're going towards the offseason."

Paul Konerko added his 30th homer of the season, giving him at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs for the fifth time in his career.

"It's one of those things that when I came into the season that I kind of felt like that's my job, to drive in runs," Konerko said.

The Indians gave up plenty of runs Monday, falling 12-6 to Seattle to end their three-game winning streak in a game called due to rain after seven innings.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer and is 7 for 9 over his last two games after an 0-for-20 slump.

Cabrera and the rest of the Indians will face Chicago starter Gavin Floyd (12-11, 4.42 ERA) in Game 1.

Floyd suffered his first loss since Aug. 3 when he allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-0 defeat to Detroit on Tuesday. He's winless with a 5.06 ERA over his last three starts, not pitching through the sixth inning in any of them.

The right-hander has pitched well against Cleveland this season, going 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts - all White Sox victories.

He'll be opposed by Fausto Carmona (6-15, 5.26), who has fared much worse against Chicago in 2011.

The right-hander is 1-2 with a 9.14 ERA in four starts versus the White Sox this season, including an opening-day outing in which he gave up 10 runs in three innings of a 15-10 loss. Carmona last faced them Sept. 10, when he allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings of Cleveland's 7-3, 10-inning defeat.

Konerko is 8 for 20 with two homers lifetime off Carmona.

On the positive side for Carmona, he did earn his last victory against the White Sox on Aug. 17, when he gave up one run in a season-high 8 1-3 innings. He's 0-3 with a 6.97 ERA in six starts since after allowing six runs - five earned - in six innings of a 7-4 loss to Texas on Thursday.

The Indians will also be looking for a better performance out of Zach McAllister (0-1, 12.27) in the nightcap.

The 23-year-old rookie right-hander begins his third stint with the Indians after making a pair of spot starts which didn't go very well. He allowed three runs - two earned - in four innings before Cleveland rallied for a 5-4 win over Toronto on July 7, then gave up 10 runs - eight earned - in 3 1-3 innings of a 12-7 loss to Seattle on Aug. 23 - also the second game of a doubleheader.

He'll be opposed by Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 2.25), who is looking to stay hot.

The rookie right-hander is coming off a solid first major league start, allowing two runs and striking out eight in six innings of Chicago's 6-5, 10-inning loss to Detroit on Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Miguel Gonzalez can't stop two-out rallies as White Sox fall to Oakland

Miguel Gonzalez can't stop two-out rallies as White Sox fall to Oakland

GLENDALE, Ariz. — His split-fingered fastball could use a little work, but Miguel Gonzalez is ready for the regular season.

The White Sox pitcher allowed four earned runs, all with two outs, in his penultimate Cactus League start on Wednesday. Gonzalez also gave up nine hits as the White Sox lost to the Oakland A’s 5-3 at Camelback Ranch.

"I'm pretty excited for (the regular season)," Gonzalez said. "We all know that spring can be a little long sometimes. But we are here, we are here to work and keep doing what we are doing. We are going to be OK."

Gonzalez allowed two runs each in the first and second innings. Both rallies came with two outs and were a bit of a surprise to the right-hander, who left after 4 1/3 innings. Gonzalez wonders if his split-fingered fastball might not be as sharp as normal because of the dry desert air in Arizona that affects many pitchers.

"It wasn't there today," Gonzalez said. "Not quite as good as I thought it would be. Bullpen I felt really good. Falling behind hitters first two innings. That doesn't really help you, especially a team like this that's very aggressive.

"I'm working on (the splitter). It's fine. I mean it's a little different then it is in Florida. It's not as humid. But you can't think that way. You have to go out there and keep working."

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Melky Cabrera went 1-for-3 with two RBIs for the White Sox. Yolmer Sanchez tripled and homered in the loss. Former White Sox farmhand Frankie Montas struck out four over two scoreless innings to earn the save for Oakland.

The White Sox sent four more players to minor league camp before the game, including reliever Tommy Kahnle. The team sent five players to the minors on Tuesday, including pitcher Carson Fulmer. While Fulmer would love to start the season in the majors, he said it won't hinder him from taking advantage of his time at Triple-A Charlotte.

"Obviously last year getting a taste, it's that dream you've had since you were a kid," Fulmer said. "You want more of it. It's not an addiction in a way. But once you get a taste of it you want more of it. All of us young guys are trying to get back to where we've been. I think time will tell, but I think we'll get a chance here soon and get a chance to create something special."

Team USA captures first World Baseball Classic championship

Team USA captures first World Baseball Classic championship

For the first time in the history of the World Baseball Classic, the United States of America walked away champions.

Team USA bested Puerto Rico in blowout fashion on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, winning the championship game by an 8-0 score at Dodger Stadium.

White Sox relief pitchers David Robertson and Nate Jones were part of the championship-winning American roster. Robertson pitched in Wednesday's game, closing things out with a scoreless ninth inning.

Cubs infielder Javy Baez came up short as a member of the Puerto Rican team. Baez went 0-for-3 with a strikeout on Wednesday.

Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman dominated the Puerto Rican lineup, pitching six no-hit innings before surrendering the first hit in the seventh inning.

The Americans crossed home plate eight times on the night, getting a two-run home run from Tigers infielder Ian Kinsler and two-run hits from Christian Yelich and Brandon Crawford. Andrew McCutchen also drove in two, and Kinsler and Nolan Arenado scored two runs apiece.

The Puerto Ricans mustered just three hits.

This was the first time the United States even advanced to the championship game in the four times the event has been staged. It's just the second top-four finish for the Americans. They finished fourth in 2009.