BY: John Mamola
Tampa Bay Rays starter Jake Odorizzi couldn’t hold onto a couple of leads as the highest scoring offense in baseball tagged the Rays again on a cold rainy night in Chicago for a 7-3 win. The White Sox take three of the four games over the weekend series outscoring the Rays by a total of 25-15.
With the treat of rain in the area, both teams were looking to get the early lead as the threat of weather could end the series finale early on the south side of Chicago. The Rays wasted no time getting things going in the top of the first off White Sox starter Andre Rienzo as Ben Zobrist took the first pitch of the game into the right field corner for a leadoff double. Desmond Jennings then elected for the sacrifice bunt but Rienzo had trouble handling the ball and threw it past Gordon Beckham at first base. Zobrist came around to score on the play as Jennings advanced to second base and it was 1-0 Tampa Bay after three pitches.
Matt Joyce added to the Rays total with a sacrifice fly to deep center field in which Desmond Jennings scored from second base due to Sox centerfielder Adam Eaton falling down on the play. Tampa Bay’s aggressive play put them at an early 2-0 advantage.
Alejandro De Aza tied the game for Chicago in the bottom of the second with a two run blast off Odorizzi into the right field stands. Tampa Bay answered back in the top half of the fourth inning as David DeJesus launched a shot into the gap of right center field scoring Wil Myers, and the Rays regained the lead at 3-2.
The White Sox offense didn’t waste any time taking back the lead, and for good. Dayan Viciedo led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk, followed by an Alexei Ramirez triple to deep center to tie the game at three. Marcus Semien followed three batters later and knocked in Ramirez with a double to left giving the White Sox a 4-3 lead.
Adam Eaton’s two RBI double in the sixth inning and Jose’ Abreu’s RBI single in the eighth was enough insurance for a White Sox win and taking three of four in their lone series with the Rays at US Cellular Field.
Jake Odorizzi went 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out five batters and moves to 0-3 in six career starts on the road.
The road trip doesn’t get any easier as Tampa Bay heads to Boston for three games beginning tomorrow night. The Rays will throw Erik Bedard against John Lackey for the Red Sox. Catch all the action on WDAE beginning at 6:30pm with the pre-game show, and a 7:10pm first pitch.