White Sox Sweep Tampa Bay Behind Clutch Home Run from Daniel Palka

ST PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 5: Daniel Palka #18 of the Chicago White Sox hits a two run homer in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 5, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The White Sox won 8-7. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 5: Daniel Palka #18 of the Chicago White Sox hits a two run homer in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 5, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The White Sox won 8-7. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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White Sox earn their first three-game sweep on the road this season behind a clutch two-run home run in the ninth inning.

Daniel Palka hit a clutch go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth inning to help the Chicago White Sox defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7 on Sunday afternoon. The victory gave the Sox its first three-game sweep on the road this season.

The Sox were able to win their game against Tampa Bay despite the contest being tied three times at 1-1, 3-3 and at 6-6. James Shields pitched six innings against the team that originally drafted him. Avisail Garcia hit two solo home runs for the Sox.

Shields didn’t have a stellar start against the Rays but he did post a quality start for the Sox. The veteran right-hander allowed four runs but only two were earned in his six innings pitched. Shields also recorded six strikeouts while allowing four walks.

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The Sox trailed Tampa Bay early 1-0 after the first inning. Joey Wendle singled to score Matt Duffy in the first inning. Tim Anderson would tie the game in the second inning at 1-1 after hitting an RBI single to score Avisail Garcia.

However, the Rays would jump back on top with two more runs in the third inning to extend their lead to 3-1. Wendle would add another RBI but it came courtesy of a throwing error by Dustin Garneau. The error and bunt put Wendle on third base. He would later score off a sacrifice fly hit by Ji-Man Choi.

Anderson would pull the Sox closer with another RBI single in the fourth inning to score Leury Garcia. Garneau, who is on the team with catcher Kevin Smith on the paternity list, got his first RBI in a Sox uniform with a single to score Anderson and tie the game at 3-3.

With the Sox tied at 3-3 with Tampa Bay, Avisail Garcia would hit the first of his two home runs in the fifth inning to put the team ahead 4-3. Leury Garcia later followed that with an RBI single to score Nicky Delmonico and extend the Sox lead to 5-3.

After a solo home run hit by Wendle to cut the Rays deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Avisail Garcia extended the Sox lead to 6-4 with a solo home run in the sixth inning. This was his second home run of the game and Avisail Garcia’s eighth career multi-home run game. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived for the Sox.

In the seventh inning, the Rays would tie the game again at 6-6 off a two-run scoring single from Choi. The Rays threatened to score more runs in the inning as they had the bases loaded. However, Tyler Danish induced an inning-ending groundout from Carlos Gomez. Danish was the fourth pitcher used by the Sox in the seventh inning.

With the game tied at 6-6 in the ninth inning, Palka hit a go-ahead two-run home run to put the Sox back ahead at 8-6. The home run came after a single hit by Jose Abreu. Palka hit the home run off Rays relief pitcher Diego Castillo.

The Rays would inch closer to the Sox in the bottom of the ninth inning. Kevin Kiermaier hit an RBI double to score Choi and cut the Rays deficit to 8-7. With two runners on base after a walk to Brandon Lowe, Hector Santiago induced a game-ending double play from Jesus Sucre to secure the Sox win.

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With the win, the Sox extended their winning streak to a season-best four games. The Sox will begin a six-game homestand on Monday night against the New York Yankees. Dylan Covey will start for the Sox in the team’s series opener against the Yankees.