The Chicago White Sox had their five game win streak snapped by the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg behind a shaky Danks start, an underwhelming bullpen, and a listless offense. While it’s convenient to blame Danks for this loss, it optimistically ignores what is starting to become a trend. The White Sox offense has been timely, maybe even the most timely since 2012, but there’s also been a dearth of production. In Tampa, the White Sox weren’t able to muster a run off of Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez and did minimal damage against Tampa’s bullpen.
Tonight’s game revealed the hard truth that counting on surrendering zero to two runs a game is simply not a winning formula. For this hot start to be anything but a mirage, the White Sox’s offense will have arrive at the party sooner than later.
3rd Inning (Bottom): John Danks had stranded two batters over the first three innings, but with 2-outs in the third Brandon Guyer deposited a home run over the short porch in left field to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
4th Inning (Bottom): The implosion occurred in the bottom of the fourth. Danks gave up a hard single to Longoria, before getting a long flyout from Corey Dickerson. A Desmond Jennings walk set the stage for a Steven Souza Jr. RBI single that also got Jennings tied up between 2nd and 3rd. With two outs, Brad Miller launched a fastball into the right field seats to score Souza and give the Rays a 4-0 lead.
7th Inning: With one out and Melky Cabrera on second base, Brett Lawrie was able to work himself into a favorable 3-2 count in which reliever Steve Geltz felt forced to throw a fastball. Lawrie didn’t miss and cut the lead in half with a two-run bomb to left-center.
7th Inning (Bottom): Talk about a gift run. Ventura elected to go with John Danks in the seventh inning and after notching an out, he rewarded him by walking Tim Beckham. Jake Petricka was brought in to clean up the inning but his control was all over the place. Beckham swiped second, and Petricka made it moot when he walked Curt Casali. He then walked Brandon Guyer for good measure. A Steve Pearce line out gave the White Sox a prayer of leaving the frame unscathed but Longoria pulled an RBI single into left to put the Rays up 5-2. Danks was charged with the run,
8th Inning (Bottom): Down 2-0, Zack Putnam left a fastball up to Desmond Jennings, who added an insurance run via a home run to left. A Souza single was followed by a Brad Miller double, which was misplayed by Jackson and ushered in the Rays’ seventh run.
7th Inning (Bottom): With two outs and the bases loaded, Ventura called on Zack Putnam to get Chicago out of a jam. Corey Dickerson was close to squaring up Putnam’s offering, but it faded into a flyout to center, disabling the scoring threat.
With runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs, Melky Cabrera had a perfect opportunity to push a run across the plate. Evan Longoria exhibited slick fielding when he darted across the field to snag a foul ball right out of the stands. He outstretched his glove to full capacity and caught it in the webbing among the flailing hands of a fan. The defensive highlight would end the top of the fourth in style.
In the top of the seventh, Robin Ventura chose to pinch hit Jerry Sands in favor of lefty catcher Alex Avila. Providing hope that Ventura is cognizant of Sands’ preferred role, he deployed him in the proper situation. Sands, a solid bat against LHP, shot a single into left against southpaw reliever Xavier Cedeno.
John Danks: 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Brett Lawrie: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI
GAME BALL (Player of the Game)
In little league, win or lose, we’d hand out a game ball to the player of the game. Brett Lawrie takes home the honor as his home run represented the entirety of Chicago’s scoring output.
Sunday (12:10): Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays @ Tropicana Field.
Broadcast Info: CSN (TV), WLS (Radio)