Rain and cold. Hot and dry. It just doesn't seem to matter when, where or what the conditions for the White Sox and Tigers. Not even who, and that includes Justin Verlander.
In a constant, frosty drizzle Saturday, the White Sox prevailed again against the American League Central favorites, giving them four victories in five tries this season and 41 in 61 since the beginning of the 2005 season.
And Saturday they did it again against Verlander, who is 34-13 in his career against every other team. He is 1-6 against the Sox.
Of course, it wasn't as easy as the final 7-0 score would indicate, but even at his near-best Verlander couldn't outduel Gavin Floyd, who no-hit the Tigers for 71/3 innings and climbed to 2-0 against them this year. Of his 10 career victories, three are against them.
"When you have stuff like him and you're facing a ballclub like the Tigers, throwing the way he did, it was outstanding," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It builds confidence. His stuff always has been there. Hopefully this is the beginning of a great career."
Verlander and Floyd hooked up in a battle that had most of the announced crowd of 29,649 sitting through conditions more suitable to polar bears than Tigers. The difference through seven innings was Orlando Cabrera's home run in the third.
"The conditions weren't ideal," said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who broke open the game in the eighth with a two-run single. "Both teams had to play in it, both got through it and Gavin pitched unbelievable. Verlander almost matched him pitch-for-pitch until the eighth."
While he walked four batters in the first four innings, including the game's first batter and two in the third inning, Floyd retired 12 straight before Edgar Renteria lined an eighth-inning single to right field.
"Once I got in my rhythm, I felt comfortable with everything … and went with it," he said.
It took a while.
"He was effectively wild [early]; he was kind of all over the place," Pierzynski said. "He got double plays when he needed them. He didn't give in, that was the biggest thing. He found a way to get through it, and that's what you need."
"[Floyd] got to the point we wanted him to get," Guillen said. "If he was throwing a no-hitter in the ninth, he would start [the inning]. He earned that. But we pay Linebrink a lot of money to [pitch] the eighth."
The Sox broke the game open in the eighth when Verlander hit a wild streak that included hitting Cabrera in the back of the helmet. Cabrera stayed in the game and later underwent tests, which showed no damage.
Floyd was helped by his defense, including Carlos Quentin's wall-banging catch in left field to end the first inning and Joe Crede's diving stop of a grounder to begin the second. Crede also started a fourth-inning double play by roaming far to his left.
"It was a lot of fun, especially as it got later in the game and the crowd started getting into it," Crede said.
"When you're playing defense, you love playing in games like that because it doesn't happen very often."