CHICAGO - Another near miss for Gavin Floyd. Toying with a no-hitter for the second time in a month, the White Sox righthander watched his latest effort sail away with one out in the ninth.
Joe Mauer hit a high drive into the gap in left-center for a double, ending Floyd's no-hit bid and his outing last night.
What was he thinking as the ball left Mauer's bat?
"I hoped that it was an out," Floyd said calmly after the White Sox ended a six-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory.
"I wasn't really looking at the ball and then I turned back and I saw Swish and Carlos coming after it. Swish made a great effort - you know, Superman."
But the ball was too far between left fielder Carlos Quentin and center fielder Nick Swisher, who made a diving attempt but didn't really get close to the ball.
Floyd (3-1) was taken out to a standing ovation after Mauer's double, and Bobby Jenks came on to get the final two outs.
Floyd, who held Detroit hitless for 7 1/3 innings April 12 before Edgar Renteria singled, walked three and struck out four. The only run the Twins could muster was aided by an error by Quentin in the fourth.
With the spirited crowd of 23,480 at U.S. Cellular Field cheering loudly, Brendan Harris struck out looking at a curveball to start the ninth inning. As the tension built, Mauer put an end to the suspense.
Manager Ozzie Guillen then popped out of the dugout and went to get Floyd, his 25-year-old pitcher, who threw 105 pitches.
"I was just trying to get on base and get a hit," Mauer said. "I got a pitch that was up a little bit up and tried to drive it to the gap. His ball was moving, his slider was cutting."
Floyd walked Mauer to lead off the fourth and Justin Morneau hit a slicing liner to left that Quentin got his glove on but couldn't hold for an error. One out later, Jason Kubel's sacrifice fly gave the Twins a run without a hit and cut Chicago's lead to 3-1.
Jermaine Dye hit his fourth homer leading off the sixth off Nick Blackburn (2-2), who gave up six hits and four runs in six innings. That put the White Sox and Floyd up, 4-1. Quentin added a two-run single off Jesse Crain in the bottom of the seventh.