Gavin Floyd gave up a homerun to Ben Zobrist in the first inning and White Sox fans sighed. Not a sigh of relief, but a sigh of acceptance. A sigh that signified that this game wouldn’t be close. That regardless of how many runs the Sox could manage, the Rays would have slightly more to offer. Then a funny thing happened. The Rays didn’t score again.
Rays (86-71): 1
White Sox (83-74): 3
Gavin Floyd was superb in this one and the bullpen was able to back him up. Floyd went the majority of the way; in 5 innings he struck out 6 and allowed just that one run. He was allowed to stay in and complete his 5 while racking up 105 pitches, well above what he’s managed since his return from the DL. To support him, the offense didn’t need much against Hellickson, and if it was another night, without Floyd getting the team off to the start he did, it wouldn’t have been enough.
Gordon Beckham lead off the third with a single. Alejandro De Aza, despite countless instances of useless attempts for the White Sox, was called upon to bunt him over. He failed, popping to the catcher, but good fortune smiled upon the cause and Beckham moved into second on a pickoff attempt that got away from Pena. An inning later Alex Rios lead off with a homerun. That’s all that was needed, but for good measure and peace of mind Alexei Ramirez singled home Rios in the 6th to create a cushion for the bullpen to work with.
The bullpen pieced together a good one, starting with Jesse Crain. Crain worked harder than he’s used to, going 2.2 innings and striking out 4. Only one hit was allowed in that time paving the way for Robin to use 4 more pitchers in order to obtain the final four outs. Matt Thornton, Nate Jones, Donnie Veal and Addison Reed finished it off to bring the White Sox one game closer in the division after receiving some more help from Minnesota.
Plus: Alex Rios and Gavin Floyd get my co-players of the game. Floyd went a solid 5 and Rios took care of the other half going 3 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs.
Minus: Guys still got stranded and the Sox could have managed a few extras in this one. It doesn’t hurt quite as bad when it results in a win, but those opportunities were there.
Player of the Game:
Jesse Crain – .181 WPA