On Thursday, the Chicago White Sox began a four-game set with the visiting Tampa Bay Rays to conclude 8-game, 10-day home-stand. After dropping 10 of the last 14 games, the White Sox were looking to end the home-stand on a positive note. By winning the first two games, the Sox are now 10-12, two wins away from getting back to .500. With the White Sox scheduled to see Matt Moore and David Price in the final two games of this series, it will be difficult to accomplish that feat this weekend. Hopefully, the Sox will be able to pull out at least one victory and attempt to get back to .500 on their upcoming 8-game road trip.
Here’s how the final series of the home-stand has started:
Thursday, April 25th – White Sox 5 Rays 2
On Thursday, the White Sox got their offense going a little bit by scoring five runs on seven hits. Jeff Keppinger was the only player to record two hits and also added an RBI. Adam Dunn delivered the big blow, a 2-run homer in the 6th inning (his 4th of the season), to increase the White Sox lead to 5-2. The rest of the production was spread out, with Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios, Paul Konerko, and Alexei Ramirez all adding a hit. It was a solid night at the plate all around for the White Sox, and it wound up being plenty of support for the pitching staff.
Chris Sale took the mound for the Sox, and was solid once again. Sale recorded a quality start in back-to-back appearances, and now has four quality starts in five outings. Thursday also marked the fourth time in five starts that Sale pitched at least seven innings. Sale went seven full innings, allowing two runs, on just four hits, four walks, and seven strikeouts. The walks were a little high for Sale, but the low hit total helped to limit the damage. The lefty’s season ERA now sits at 4.09 and he carries a 1.15 WHIP. Both of those ratios are slightly inflated due to one rough outing in Cleveland, and they should continue to decrease after a few more starts.
Matt Lindstrom came on to pitch a scoreless eighth before giving the ball to Addison Reed. After allowing a lead-off single, the closer retired the final three batters for scoreless ninth to record his seventh save of the season.
Friday, April 26th – White Sox 5 Ray 4
On Friday, the White Sox recorded eight hits, but this time they needed all five runs that were scored to get the win. Of the eight hits, three of them came via the long-ball, as the White Sox hitters enjoyed a night facing a familiar face with a new name. Roberto Hernandez, formerly Fausto Carmona, was on the mound for the Rays and ran into trouble after cruising through the first three innings. Hernandez gave up a RBI-single to Adam Dunn in the fourth, before serving up home runs to Hector Gimenez, Tyler Greene (2-run HR), and Conor Gillaspie in the fifth and sixth innings. The offensive power gave the White Sox a 5-3 lead, and allowed their starting pitcher an opportunity to pick up a win.
Veteran right-hander Jake Peavy was on the hill, and delivered his third consecutive quality start. Like his teammate Chris Sale, Peavy also has four quality starts in five appearances. Peavy went 6.2 strong innings, surrendering three runs, on six hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. Peavy did give up two home runs on the night, but luckily they both occurred with no one on base. Peavy really battled out there, as he does in every start, but his effort was enough to earn his third win of the season. Peavy’s season ERA is now at 3.38 and he also sports a very nice 1.12 WHIP.
Matt Thornton came on to retire the final batter of the seventh inning before giving the ball to Jesse Crain. After retiring the first two batters to begin the eighth, Crain gave up two hits, but was able to get the final out to hold the 5-3 lead. Closer Addison Reed was called upon for the ninth, and once again got the job done. Reed allowed a one-out double, followed by a two-out run-scoring single to bring the lead to 5-4, before eventually striking out Ben Zobrist to end the game. While it was not pretty, Reed was able to get the job done. It was really the first time all year that Reed was tested, so we’ll just chalk that up as an off night. Reed has now earned a save in three consecutive days, so expect him to be unavailable tonight.
Record: 10-12, 4th place in AL Central (3.0 games back)
Up Next: The final two games versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
Saturday, April 27th at 6:10pm CT: Gavin Floyd (0-3, 4.98 ERA) vs. Matt Moore (4-0, 1.04 ERA)
Sunday, April 28th at 1:10pm CT: Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 3.80 ERA) vs. David Price (0-2, 5.52 ERA)
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