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Article updated: 7/8/2011 11:30 PM

Good start, bad ending for Sox

The White Sox changed things up Friday night.

No, they didn't beat the banged-up Twins, let's not get carried away.

The Sox lost their ninth straight to Minnesota dating back to last season.

They are also 0-6 against their AL Central rivals this season after losing 8-5 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Of all the countless defeats to the Twins over the last few years, this one actually stung the Sox a little more.

Why?

In their first 5 losses to Minnesota this season, the White Sox scored a grand total of 5 runs on 26 hits.

On Friday, the White Sox' lethargic offense erupted for 5 runs on 6 hits in the first inning against Twins starter Nick Blackburn.

Finally, they figured out a way to get it done.

Not quite.

The Sox' offense went back into hibernation after the early uprising, but the 5-spot still should have been enough for starting pitcher Gavin Floyd to work with.

It wasn't. Not even close.

"I felt good from the beginning," Floyd said. "As the game went on, I lost command of my fastball and other pitches. I was missing pretty bad. Chalk it up as a bad loss."

A real bad loss.

Let's give Floyd 90 percent of the blame for the latest loss to the Twins, who tagged the right-hander for 7 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in 3⅔ innings.

Even worse, Minnesota was playing without four key hitters out with injuries -- Justin Morneau, Delmon Young, Jason Kubel and Denard Span.

The Twins had seven hitters in the starting lineup batting .244 or less, so that tells you how bad Floyd was.

"Anytime you get off to a good lead your plan is to stay in the game as long as possible, keep us in the game, you know, prevent them from scoring," said Floyd, who made an early exit after allowing 5 of Minnesota's 6 runs in the fourth inning. "When things like that happen, especially in one inning, you get disappointed."

Manager Ozzie Guillen had a good feeling early, and so did the crowd of 27,737.

"We started very well but all of the sudden on the second lap, our tires got flat," Guillen said. "It's all about pitching. Obviously, we've struggled offensively and we're still struggling.

"But when you struggle and lose the lead right away, we got down. Gavin struggled from the beginning of the game."

The Sox are still saying they can turn a frustrating season around, but they sure haven't been backing up those words with their play on the field.

And as for trying to compete against the Twins, nothing they do seems to work.

"It was hard to watch because all the sudden you've got a little excitement because we've been waiting for the offense to come out and do something like this," Guillen said. "And all the sudden when you blink your eyes, you turn around and you have a tie game."

Followed by another loss.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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