Gavin Floyd (4-3) took the loss despite holding the Angels to three hits in his first career complete game. He had a rocky fifth inning, when Hunter hit a solo shot. The right-hander also hit Maicer Izturis and Gary Matthews Jr. with bases-loaded pitches.
That was enough for Saunders (8-1), who is emerging as a star after splitting the past two seasons with the Angels and Triple-A Salt Lake. He needed just 10 starts to match last year's win total and moved into a tie with Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka for the American League lead in victories.
The left-hander showed no signs of the flulike symptoms that kept him from pitching at Toronto on Thursday, holding the AL Central leaders to one run and three hits in a career-high 8 1-3 innings. He left with a 3-0 lead after former Angel Orlando Cabrera led off with a single and moved to second on A.J. Pierzynski's groundout.
Francisco Rodriguez came in and walked Carlos Quentin on four pitches before Jermaine Dye delivered an RBI single to left. Rodriguez then struck out Jim Thome and Joe Crede for his 20th save in 21 opportunities, jumping and raising both arms after the final out.
The White Sox had not lost since the Angels beat them 2-0 on May 13. They took the final two games of that series to salvage a four-game split and start their longest win streak since they won nine in a row from June 15-24, 2006. But after sweeping San Francisco and Cleveland, Chicago couldn't get much going against Saunders.
Floyd struck out three and walked four. He faced the minimum 13 batters before running into trouble with one out in the fifth.
Hunter, courted by the White Sox as a free agent in the offseason, sent the first pitch about halfway up the stands in left-center for his sixth homer this season -- and his 23rd lifetime against Chicago. Floyd's problems resumed after Casey Kotchman fouled out, when Mike Napoli walked, Robb Quinlan singled and Sean Rodriguez walked to load the bases.
Floyd then plunked Izturis in the right elbow and Matthews Jr. in the ankle on consecutive pitches to make it 3-0 before Vladimir Guerrero -- the inning's ninth batter -- bounced into a force on the first pitch.
Floyd settled down, but the offense couldn't get much going against Saunders.
Fifth in the AL with a 2.48 ERA when the night began, he escaped trouble in the first after Cabrera led off with a walk and Pierzynski laid down a bunt single.
Both teams kept key players out of the lineup.
Chicago held out Paul Konerko, who's been bothered by a sore right hand for more than three weeks and will only be available for pinch hitting the next few days. With Konerko out, the White Sox placed second baseman Juan Uribe on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and purchased outfielder DeWayne Wise's contract from Triple-A Charlotte.
The Angels held third baseman Chone Figgins, who returned from the 15-day DL on Wednesday, out of the lineup for the second straight day after his right hamstring flared up in Toronto. He is expected to play this weekend.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun