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Rays 3, White Sox 1: Different lineup, same result

Josh Phegley's first career homer the lone offensive highlight as Tampa Bay completes sweep

J. Meric

The future is now, and here's all White Sox fans can do:

  1. Expect even less.
  2. Savor individual triumphs.

Robin Ventura started his Sunday-est lineup to date. With lefty David Price on the mound, Ventura spared his starting lefties and fielded a lineup with Casper Wells, Brent Morel and Blake Tekotte. That looks odd now. It might look less odd a month from now if Rick Hahn is able to make some trades.

In related news, Price threw a 98-pitch complete game. The Sox hadn't seen the sub-100-pitch complete game in a couple years (Carl Pavano was the last back in 2011), so that's what passes for novelty.

The Sox collected eight hits off Price. They subtracted two of those with a couple of thwarted stolen-base attempts, and they couldn't get any baserunners back in the form of walks, HBPs, errors, catcher's interferences, or other gifts. Likewise, they only had three chances with runners in scoring position, and none after the fourth. They went 0-for-3 in such situations.

So there was only one way to score, and at least it was a memorable one. Josh Phegley, who came close to taking Price deep in his previous at-bat, was able to put a fastball in the first row in left for his first career homer. It wasn't enough to avoid the sweep, but it did prevent the Sox from getting shut out for the second straight game.

Today's hard-luck starter was John Danks, who threw seven good innings. He looked extremely vulnerable in the first -- Desmond Jennings smoked a double and Ben Zobrist just missed the foul pole down the left-field line, but Joe Maddon opted for the smallball route. A bunt and sac fly did yield a run, but it seemed like it should've been worse.

But Danks' location improved dramatically enough to reach "not the problem" status. He did walk two batters for the first time all season, and one of those set up the decisive RBI single in the fifth inning, but he represented himself well. He allowed just seven baserunners over seven innings, and that's usually enough to win. Usually.

Record: 34-51 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights