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Sox Return Home 4.5 Games Behind Twins, Face Orioles Tonight

(Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox are hoping an upcoming series with the Baltimore Orioles will catapult them back into the playoff mix. The two teams collide tonight in the opener of a three-game set at US Cellular Field.

Chicago is 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the lead in the American League Central Division and has lost six of the past eight games. In Sunday's 3-2 loss in 10 innings at Kansas City, Jason Kendall stroked an RBI single off of White Sox reliever Scott Linebrink, who suffered his first loss of the season (1-1).

Sox starter John Danks tossed six innings of two-run ball in the no-decision, while Bobby Jenks delivered three shutout innings of relief. A.J. Pierzynski had two hits and an RBI and Paul Konerko added an RBI for Chicago, which got a pair of hits from both Omar Vizquel and Carlos Quentin.

"Tough road trip," Konerko said after the loss. "We didn't play bad. But you're dealing with wins and losses, so 2-4 is not good."

White Sox starter Gavin Floyd tries to get back into the win column tonight and has dropped two straight appearances since a personal three-start winning streak. In last Wednesday's 7-6 loss at Minnesota, Floyd was hammered for seven runs and 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs in 6 2/3 innings of a loss versus the Twins on August 12.

Floyd, a right-hander, is 8-10 in 25 starts this season and had his ERA raised to 3.97 after his performance in the Twin Cities. Floyd is 2-1 in four career starts against Baltimore.

The Orioles have lost four of six games and will begin a six-game road trip against the White Sox and Angels tonight. They just split a four-game series versus Texas and suffered a 6-4 setback in Sunday's series finale.

Kevin Millwood fell to 2-14 this season after he surrendered six runs and six hits in six innings of work.

"I worry about the stuff I can control," said Millwood when asked about his lack of run support throughout the year. "That is getting people out and making good pitches. I just haven't made enough good pitches."

Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott both homered for Baltimore, which has cooled off since a hot start under manager Buck Showalter.

Toeing the rubber for Showalter's club tonight will be Jeremy Guthrie, who owns a 7-12 record and a 3.97 earned run average in 25 starts. Guthrie had a personal three-start winning streak come to an end his last time out in Wednesday's 6-5 loss versus Seattle.

Guthrie, a right-hander, lasted eight innings against the Mariners and was reached for six runs -- five earned -- and eight hits. He threw six scoreless innings in his previous start, which occurred at Tampa Bay on August 13.

Guthrie is 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA in nine career meetings (seven starts) with Chicago.

The Orioles have won three of four contests with the White Sox this season -- all at Camden Yards, Baltimore is 6-2 in the past eight meetings in this series.