Using a dinger-based offense, the White Sox ended their five-game losing streak by beating the Tampa Bay Rays at their own game.
Yolmer Sanchez led off the game with deep drive that doinked off a catwalk hanging over deep center field*, Avisail Garcia ripped a solo blast way out to left, and Todd Frazier found a comfortable distance in between for a sorely needed insurance run. It’s not that the White Sox used it, but considering the game had been a white-knuckle affair — 31⁄2 hours for six total runs -- any kind of cushion was appreciated.
(*Or at least that was the official ruling, and the perspective from the White Sox broadcast, which couldn’t quite keep the ball in frame with its best camera angle. On Twitter, @zevyr told me to look at the Rays’ broadcast. It did a better job tracking the ball and no catwalk was seen, but either it clipped something or found a late severe slice and Kevin Kiermaier just overran it by 30-40 feet, which is equally unusual.)
Jose Quintana recovered from the 11⁄2-dud streak he brought into the game, but he didn’t quite erase it. He allowed just one run over 51⁄3 innings, and that run scored on a shanked Evan Longoria single in the first inning, which is encouraging. However, he threw a lot of pitches early on, and his control faded late. He threw 114 pitches and issued four walks, all in the fifth and sixth inning (one intentional).
It looked like Rick Renteria allowed Quintana to start the sixth with the hopes of finishing strong, but instead he left runners on second and third with one out for Chris Beck. Renteria called for the intentional walk to pinch-hitting Brad Miller, and it worked out, as Beck closing the inning with a 4-6-3 double play from Jesus Sucre, wisely avoiding touching the bouncer because Sanchez was positioned perfectly to handle it.
Beck then earned the win when Garcia ripped a hanging Chris Archer slider 112 mph into the second section behind the left field fence to start the seventh. Those were the only two outs he recorded, and he started the bottom of the seventh with the pair of walks, but his escape from the sixth still was still worthy of the “W.”
Oddly enough, Tommy Kahnle’s inning was the one fraught with peril. The White Sox were actually able to expand the lead to 3-1 on a Jose Abreu RBI single in the eighth, which allowed Renteria to use the back end of the bullpen in a traditional manner.
But Kahnle jeopardized the lead by giving up a pair of singles up the middle to start the inning, and a passed ball by Omar Narvaez moved both runners into scoring position. Colby Rasmus smoked a grounder to the right side, but Jose Abreu stopped it for the first out. Another intentional walk to Miller once again loaded the bases for Sucre, who was able to loft a fly to right to score one run. However, Kahnle won a battle with Steven Souza Jr., blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
Frazier then greeted Ryan Garton by hitting the first pitch he threw over the center-field wall to regain the run, and David Robertson rode an athletic play by Tim Anderson to a 1-2-3 save.
*The Rays completed two SHOTHOs, with Sucre gunning down Leury Garcia and Sanchez.
*The White Sox struck out 15 times. Home runs are good.
*Renteria added to Quintana’s pitch count when he didn’t challenge a safe call at first base with two outs in the second. Anderson threw wide to Abreu, but it looked like Abreu applied the tag to Daniel Robertson before he touched first base. For whatever reason, Renteria didn’t ask for a review, and Quintana needed nine more pitches to record the third/fourth out.
Record: 25-31 | Box score | Highlights