White Sox win ninth straight, sweep Braves

SPORTSNETWORK

, Last Updated: 9:08 PM ET

Chicago - Paul Konerko blasted a two-run homer in the eighth inning to give the White Sox their ninth straight win and a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves via a 2-0 final.

Gavin Floyd tossed seven superb innings of two-hit ball, fanning nine and walking one, but continued a frustrating six-start winless streak. He has worked at least six innings and limited the opposition to one run or less in each of his last four outings with nothing to show for it.

Konerko's timely longball made a winner of J.J. Putz (3-2), who pitched a spotless eighth. Bobby Jenks did the same in the ninth to earn his 17th save for Chicago, which rolled to its 13th win in 14 tries. The club hadn't won nine in a row since June 15-24, 2006.

"It came out of nowhere, we weren't playing great baseball all year. We started playing well against Detroit and I think the Cubs series kicked us ion gear and we've been off and running since then," Konerko said of the Sox inspired play. "It's not going to last forever, but you just try and ride it out."

Atlanta's Derek Lowe also hurled seven scoreless frames, yielding five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Takashi Saito (1-3) gave up the key hit in the eighth to suffer the loss for Atlanta, which last lost three straight during a season-worst nine-game slide from April 21-29.

"We'll regroup. We've got a long homestand that I think everyone is looking forward to. We'll get back to a place where we play very well," said Lowe. "I don't think anyone is leaving here thinking we're a bad team. The way the White Sox have been playing the last two weeks is off the charts."

Floyd handled the Braves' bats with ease, setting down 14 straight after a two-out single by Eric Hinske in the second inning. The impressive stretch included Floyd string out the side in the fourth against the likes of Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann.

Atlanta attempted to mount a charge in the seventh. Jones got on with a one- out hit, advanced on a groundout and then on a wild pitch. Troy Glaus walked to put men at the corners, but Floyd fanned Hinske to escape unscathed.

Lowe, meanwhile, did his job as well but turned the ball over to Saito in the eighth as Chicago broke the scoreless tie. Juan Pierre opened with a single to right and Konerko jumped on a first-pitch fastball two batters later for a two-run deep fly to left.

Atlanta didn't have a runner reach base past the seventh.

Game Notes

Chicago improved to 13-2 in interleague play and drew to within 2 1/2 games of Minnesota for first place in the American League Central...The White Sox next host the Cubs for three games starting Friday...Pierre and Mark Kotsay had two hits apiece for Chicago...Atlanta hosts Detroit in a three-game series beginning Friday.


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