The Chicago White Sox avoided the sweep Wednesday by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 in 10 innings. This was a game the White Sox absolutely had to win, considering the fact that they had lost the first two games of the series.
Adam Eaton got the White Sox offense going in the first inning by doing what a leadoff hitter should do by getting on base with a walk.
Melky Cabrera joined the hit parade by doubling to right, scoring Saladino and putting runners on second and third. Avisail Garcia stepped to the plate and hit his second home run in as many days, which put the White Sox up 5-0.
The White Sox wouldn’t score any more runs until extra innings.
Tampa Bay got on the board in the top of the third inning. With two outs and no runners on, Evan Longoria doubled to left. Logan Forsythe followed him with a double, which cut the White Sox lead to 5-1.
A soft single to right by Asdrubal Cabrera drove Forsythe home, giving the Rays their second run of the game. Tampa Bay would not score any more runs that inning.
Aug 5, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Brandon Guyer (5) left tries to steal second base from Chicago White Sox second baseman Carlos Sanchez (5) during the fifth inning of the baseball game at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
In the top of the fifth, the Rays would get more two-out offense. Longoria launched a long home run to center field, cutting the White Sox lead to 5-3. Forsythe then walked, which ended the afternoon for White Sox starter Carlos Rodon.
Matt Albers relieved Rodon and promptly gave up a double to Asdrubal Cabrera. With the game halfway home, the White Sox led 5-4.
The Rays would even the score in the top of the eighth. With two outs and no runners on, the Rays offense struck again. Pinch hitter Curt Casali singled. Brandon Guyer then split the gap in left-center, which scored Casali from first. There may have been a play at the plate if White Sox second baseman Carlos Sanchez decided to throw home; however, he held the ball.
No more runs would be scored until the bottom of the 10th inning.
With Brad Boxberger pitching, Eaton led off the inning with a single to center and stole second base. However, the throw hit Rays shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera in the face and bounced away, allowing Eaton to make it to third with no one out.
Saladino flew out to left, but the ball was not hit deep enough to score Eaton. The Rays chose to walk Abreu and Cabrera to load the bases with one out. Garcia came up with one out and the bases loaded. Boxberger walked Garcia on five pitches, scoring Eaton and giving the White Sox a 6-5 win.
This was a huge win for the White Sox. Starting with the New York Yankees series, the White Sox are in the midst of a 19-game stretch against quality competition.
If they can win nine or 10 games, I think it would be a success. So far they have two wins, and assuming the White Sox are still in the race after these 19 games, they might have a chance to hang around until the end.