Aggressive Floyd is White Sox road warrior

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CLEVELAND — Pitching coach Don Cooper has been after White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd to get after it, to go against his easy-going nature and pitch with aggression.

Especially since the All-Star break, Floyd has been doing just that and the Sox are loving the results.

In their 3-0 victory against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night, Floyd attacked the strike zone and pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings for his second road win against a team the Sox are chasing in the AL Central. Last week Floyd allowed two runs (one earned) in 7 2/3 innings in an 8-2 victory against the Tigers in Detroit.

“I think it’s just being aggressive,” Floyd said. “Any time you get ahead of hitters or get quick outs, you get longer in the game and just try to make pitches early on and let the at-bat kind of play out. Just try to let our defense get the ball.”

Floyd allowed four hits, walked none and struck out five. He is 2-1 with a 1.84 ERA in his last four road starts. This one didn’t give him any special satisfaction, he said.

“I’ll enjoy it a little bit tonight, but tomorrow is right back at them,” he said. “Just keep on pushing. It’s a long season.”

Cooper recently talked about Floyd when he’s at his best.

“You are looking to dominate, so you can’t go in picking away and not being aggressive,” Cooper said. “If you do that you will suffer a slow death or maybe survive. The outcome you are looking for is domination so you might as well go mano a mano from the first pitch right now. That’s it with Gavin.”

“His focus is a key thing, too,” Cooper said. “To focus and commit. Then bring that good stuff unchained, just let it go.

“His approach key for me is to be aggressive, and have a quicker rhythm and tempo. Throw all four of his pitches like a fastball, let it go with the best of his God-given ability.”

Said Floyd: “Ever since I came over here, I’ve been trying to attack with everything. Trying to get quick outs and that’s the way you stay on your game.”

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