Floyd shuts down Braves

Updated: April 3, 2010, 12:13 AM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Gavin Floyd and Tommy Hanson look ready for the real games.

Hanson, one of baseball's most promising pitchers, threw four solid innings for Atlanta in his final tuneup of the spring. Floyd was even better, working four scoreless innings as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Braves 7-2 in an exhibition game Friday night.

Floyd shut down the Braves on four hits. He had one ugly start in five official spring appearances; otherwise, the right-hander surrendered only three earned runs in 16 innings.

In 2008, Floyd went 17-8 in his first full season with the White Sox. He slipped to 11-11 a year ago, but is in a similar position as Hanson. The White Sox also are counting heavily on starting pitching, led by Jake Peavy and Mark Buehrle but with two other promising options in Floyd and 13-game winner John Danks.

"He continues to do the job," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Floyd.

The right-hander got off to shaky start: back-to-back singles by Melky Cabrera and Martin Prado in the bottom half of the first. But Floyd struck out Chipper Jones swinging, and it turned into a double play when Cabrera, running on the pitch, was thrown out at third. Troy Glaus flied out to end the threat.

"I threw everything. The slider was good," Floyd said. "I think the slider was working for me more than anything."

The 23-year-old Hanson allowed a first-inning run and wrapped up the spring with a 2.45 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings, furthering bolstering the promise he showed in going 11-4 as a rookie. The right-hander is a big part of a strong Braves rotation that also includes opening-day starter Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens and Tim Hudson.

"I'm definitely ready," said Hanson, who allowed three hits and struck out four. "Today was the best I've felt all spring, as far as my arm and body, so I felt really good, and I'm definitely ready for the season to start."

Paul Konerko drove in the lone Chicago run off Hanson with a two-out single to left in the first. Only one other runner got as far as second base against the Atlanta starter.

The White Sox broke it open after Kris Medlen took over in the fifth. Gordon Beckham's bases-loaded single drove in two runs, and Carlos Quentin made it 4-0 with a run-scoring hit that accounted for the first of his two RBIs.

Brian McCann set up the lone Atlanta run with a ground-rule double off Matt Thornton in the sixth. Glaus followed with an RBI single.

Braves closer Billy Wagner had a rough ninth, hitting two batters and giving up two runs. Andruw Jones, who spent a dozen seasons with the Braves, brought home one with a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right-center.

The teams will meet again in their final exhibition game on Saturday. Both teams open at home Monday: Atlanta against Chicago's other team, the Cubs, and the White Sox host Cleveland.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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