White Sox end long losing streak at Rays’ expense

April 21

v. Chicago White Sox

Attendance: 16, 751

White Sox (8-11) 1 0 4 0 1 2 0 1 0 9 10 0
Rays (9-10) 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 1

W: Gavin Floyd (2-1) 4.00 ERA

L: Jeff Niemann (0-3) 7.08 ERA

Summary:

The White Sox have really been struggling. Coming into tonight, they had lost seven in a row and had been scoring less than two runs a game over that slide. When the Rays started 0-6, they got their first win by scoring nine against the White Sox. Similarly, Chicago ended their long losing streak by putting up nine runs tonight.

They did it with some little ball. Juan Pierre started the game with a bunt single and moved to third on a throwing error by Felipe Lopez. Pierre scored on a little ground ball by Omar Vizquel. Pierre reached on another bunt single in the third which ignited a four run rally against Rays’ starter Jeff Niemann. Niemann did not have his best outing today, giving up six runs (five earned) in 4.2 innings. The rest of the Rays’ hurlers especially Cesar Ramos and Jake McGee didn’t have a great time of it either.

The Rays had a shot of getting back into this game, but no one was able to get a big hit. The Rays had the bases load in the second with one out, but John Jaso grounded into an inning ending double play. They got three hits in the third, but were robbed of a big inning when Reid Brignac got picked off by White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. Ben Zobrist led off the fourth with a single, but was erased on a double play, hit into by B.J. Upton. The Rays then loaded the bases. Sam Fuld knocked in two runs with a single, but then Johnny Damon struck out on a beautiful curveball by Floyd. The Rays’ offense was shut down the rest of the way.

Interestingly, five hitters were hit by pitches in this game (three by Rays’ pitchers). Almost all of them were grazing blows. Clearly none of them were intentional, so umpires did not warn the benches or throw anyone out.

The Rays have now played 19 games and by a quirk of the schedule they are now done playing the White Sox, having played them eight times already.

Player of the Game: Juan Pierre. He displayed some good old fashion speed, beating out two bunt hits and scoring three runs.

Catch all my thoughts on the Rays via Twitter @Jonathan_Bohall

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