From the way this one started, it looked like the White Sox were ready to give Jacob Faria a rude welcome in his MLB debut. Leury Garcia led off with an infield single, stole second, and scored on a Jose Abreu single to give the Sox a 1-0 lead after just one out.
But that’s all they scored. They hit some at-’em balls, but Faria’s changeup also did a fair amount of damage to take advantage of the good luck/positioning. Abreu’s single gave them a 1-for-1 head start with runners in scoring position, but with only two more hits over the final seven innings, the Sox only had two other opportunities, and were hitless in both.
Consequently, the White Sox scored only one run, and that wasn’t enough for Mike Pelfrey.
Pelfrey pelfed. He kept the game respectable into the sixth despite a fair amount of baserunner traffic (six hits, three walks, one HBP) over 51⁄3 innings. He gave up three runs, but two were earned, and one of them should’ve been out.
The Rays scored all their runs in the third inning. Evan Longoria led off with an infield single to the hole on the left side, and Logan Morrison followed with a legit double to center. Pelfrey came back with a strikeout, then walked Colby Rasmus to load the bases.
The double-play luck they had on Tuesday was late-arriving, though. Tim Beckham shot a single to right to score one run, and Avisail Garcia booted it while attempting to charge and make a throw home, which allowed a second run to score and the remaining runners to reach second and third. That mattered when Daniel Robertson hit a grounder to third, because Todd Frazier had no 5-4-3 double play opportunity.
Instead, he had to throw home. It was in time, and good enough, but Smith’s tag was slow enough for Ramus to appear to slide in safely. The replay showed that Smith applied the tag, but the White Sox did not challenge. Whether the challenge would’ve been successful is another matter, because there wasn’t one angle that showed the tag clearly applied before Rasmus’ foot touched. It would’ve required two angles lined up on the same timestamp, and I’m not sure whether that fits the definition of “conclusive.”
At any rate, that gave the Rays a 3-1 lead, and that’s when Pelfrey got his 5-4-3 double play. It was too late, but at least it allowed Rick Renteria to get Pelfrey into the sixth and minimize his reliever usage from there. Dan Jennings and Gregory Infante combined to strike out five over the 22⁄3 innings Pelfrey left over, and they didn’t allow a batter to reach base.
*Leury Garcia made a great diving catch in center field.
*The Rays were just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, so it could’ve been an equally frustrating night for them if it weren’t for Faria, who came away with the win in his debut.