Completing a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners Sunday with their 4-3 rain-interrupted victory was the best news for the White Sox.
But losing starter Gavin Floyd to a possible elbow injury left a cloud as dismal as the weather.
The long day which started with a near two-hour rain delay and ended with another 1 hour 55 minute delay before being called was a success because of Tyler Flowers’ heroics again in the seventh inning.
His two-out, two-run homer gave the Sox the lead two batters before the rain came that eventually ended the contest.
But afterward, manager Robin Ventura said Floyd would miss at least one start after leaving Sunday’s game after only two innings with right elbow discomfort.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Ventura said of missing a start. “You’d assume that, with him coming out after less than three innings.”
Floyd already spent 15 days on the disabled list in July–the first of his career–with what was described as elbow tendinitis, Floyd saying Sunday he felt the same pain.
He will undergo medical tests today in Chicago while the team heads to Baltimore for the start of a four-game series and seven-game road trip.
“The first inning was fine. It felt a little like what I had been dealing with,” Floyd said. “But then it kind of went back to where it was before I went on the DL.
“Obviously it’s one of those things that could get worse. We’ll do what we need to do as far as tests. Hopefully it’s the same thing [tendinitis] and will only need a little break.”
Ventura said Floyd wanted to continue pitching, “but I didn’t want him going back out there and something would happen. It’s one of those `better to be safe than sorry’ situations.”
For as ominous as Floyd’s condition might be, the Sox bullpen again came through, with Hector Santiago working four innings and giving up only a two-run homer to Casper Wells before Nate Jones (7-0) pitched what was the last inning.
“The pitchers did a great job again and Flo hung with it and hit the big two-run homer,” Ventura said. “You don’t draw this up. The guys battled.”
The Sox trailed 3-2 in the seventh with two outs and Jordan Danks on base after a walk when the umpires halted play temporarily. They called in the grounds crew to spread drying compound on the soaked infield, pitcher’s mound and batter’s box.
That took six minutes.
When Seattle starter Kevin Millwood (4-11) returned without throwing any warm-up pitches, Flowers belted an 0-1 pitch out of the park.
“I was just trying to hit it hard,” Flowers said. “A.J. [Pierzynski] was saying later it wouldn’t count [if the game was suspended]. I don’t know if he was just messing with me. We found out after the delay that it would count.”
It gave the Sox their sixth straight victory and maintained their 2 game lead in the American League Central over the Detroit Tigers.
Ray Olmedo and Dewayne Wise followed Flowers with singles before the umpires halted play.
“We forget that luck is a factor,” Paul Konerko said.
“There are a lot of games left, and we know there will be grueling games,” he added. “It’s only going to get tougher as we get closer, so we just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”
The sweep of the Yankees and Mariners gave the Sox their seventh perfect home stand of six or more games in franchise history and first since July, 2010.
NOTES: The Sox bullpen has worked five innings or more in 12 games this season and has a 2.87 ERA in those games (23 earned runs/72 innings) with 63 strikeouts.
The Sox have homered in 21 of their last 22 games at home and in 42 of their 64 home games so far.