Matt Thornton allowed five runs in the ninth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays came back to score the team’s first victory of the season, 9-7 over the White Sox. The Rays had scored just eight runs in their first six games going into Friday night.
Thornton blew a one-run save Wednesday against the Royals, but had a three-run lead when he took the hill in the ninth inning against Tampa Bay.
Jesse Crain worked through a jam in the seventh, he came in with the bases loaded and no outs to relieve John Danks. Crain allowed just one of the runs to score and then worked a perfect eighth. He and Sergio Santos are making big statements early in the season while Thornton struggles in the closer role.
Gordon Beckham had another great night at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored. Mark Teahen also had three hits and a homer, driving in three runs. He had a big two-out hit in the eighth to plate two insurance runs and widen the gap to 7-4, but Thornton couldn’t seal the deal.
John Danks was in line for the win but ended up with a no-decision. He struggled with his control at times, walking four batters and allowing a solo homer to Johnny Damon. Danks coasted through the first five innings for the most part and remains winless on the year.
The Sox are back at it tomorrow with Phil Humber taking the mound, but the Rays may have found some momentum after tonight.