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CWS@TOR: Floyd fans eight over six solid innings

White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd returns from the disabled list in the heat of the pivotal division showdown against the Tigers.

The White Sox took Game 1, 6-1, on Monday night, and the Tigers evened things up Tuesday with a 5-3 win. Halfway through the series, Chicago holds a two-game lead in the American League Central standings.

Floyd went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 27 with a right elbow flexor strain. He pitched just two innings in his last start Aug. 26 after throwing 42 pitches against the Mariners.

In fact, the right-hander has thrown just a total of 4 1/3 innings in his last two starts combined. Though, he hasn't lost since July 29 against Texas, and the White Sox have emerged victorious in each of the last four games he's started.

"Feeling good. Any time you're 15 days away from playing you're excited to get back and be out there and get back to the normal routine," Floyd said. "I'm definitely excited."

Floyd has already faced Detroit twice this season, turning in a pair of strong outings. Both starts came in the season's early going. He earned his first win on April 14, when he held the Tigers scoreless over six innings, striking out six. On May 5, he allowed just two runs in seven innings, earning a no-decision. He's pitched well against Detroit in his career, going 7-2 with a 3.42 ERA in 19 starts.

"I don't know," Floyd said of his success against Detroit. "I just go out there and try to attack it like any other game. There's no set formula or anything like that and take it like any other game against any other team."

And though Floyd is jumping back into the fray in the middle of an important series, he's been a part of the pennant race all through his time off.

"I'm still here in the clubhouse and in the dugout. It stinks that I'm not actually able to go out there and pitch, but it's exciting," Floyd said. "It's exciting to be a part of this run, to be able to try to win this division. It's exciting and fun and it stinks that I'm not playing, but it is what it is. An injury is an injury and you just try to be here and enjoy it."

Tigers: Scherzer looking to continue hot streak
Detroit will send Max Scherzer to the hill on Wednesday. The righty is 7-1 in his last 10 starts dating back to July 19. In those 10 starts, the righty has posted a 2.37 ERA and struck out 88 batters in 68 1/3 innings. He has struck out eight or more hitters in each of the 10 outings. And, longevity hasn't been an issue either, as Scherzer has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last five starts, with the last two being eight-inning performances.

One of those most recent two came against the White Sox on Sept. 1. Scherzer threw eight scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out nine.

Scherzer credits his secondary pitches with his recent success.

"My changeup's always been my changeup. I've always had a great feel for that," he said. "My slider, really the whole year, the way my slider's been, it's been pretty good, but even as of late, I think the biggest thing I've been doing is I'm not making mistakes with it. I'm really not making mistakes with it with two strikes. I think that's a big thing. That was happening. That's not happening as frequently right now. I'm able to execute early in the count in the zone. In two-strike situations, I'm able to execute it out of the zone and make it look like a strike."

White Sox: No pitch count for Floyd
• Manager Robin Ventura said there won't be any restrictions on Floyd.

"No. We're just going to go by how he's pitching," Ventura said. "Everybody's that way right now. Not necessarily a pitch count, just how they're looking."

• A.J. Pierzynski belted his 26th home run in Monday's 6-1 win. Pierzynski is tied with Carlton Fisk for the second-most home runs by a catcher in a single season in club history. Fisk's 37 in 1985 is the franchise record.

Worth noting
• Floyd has done what few pitchers have: hold Miguel Cabrera in check. The Tigers' slugger is hitting just .238 in his career against Floyd, with five doubles, one home run and eight RBIs.

• Pierzynski is batting .345 in his career off Scherzer with a triple, a home run and five RBIs.

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