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Rays 7, White Sox 5: Familiar late rally, familiar ending

Pair of homers narrows gap, but road trip remains a slog

Chicago White Sox v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the word on the street is that Rick Renteria’s boys won’t quit.

Facing a big hole, the White Sox made it a game with the long ball. Avisail Garcia put the White Sox on the board with a three-run shot, and Todd Frazier doinked a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole two innings later.

Alas, they were down 6-0, so that only made it 6-5, and their bid to tie the game was stranded on third. The Rays tacked on an insurance homer, and so the game ended in another manner characteristic of Renteria’s club. They dropped the series to fall to 1-5 on the road trip, and they’ll head to Cleveland from here.

The Rays played the dinger game better. They built up their big lead against Derek Holland with homers, as three of them generated four of the six runs Holland allowed. All of them came on secondary pitches, and the back-to-back blasts by Derek Norris (his second) and Peter Bourjos effectively kicked the game out of reach.

Not that the White Sox gave up. Jake Odorizzi kept the Sox in check through five, but the Sox put up three quick runs in the sixth to cut Tampa Bay’s lead in half. Three batters reached on three consecutive pitches -- a Melky Cabrera single on a 1-1 count, a first-pitch Jose Abreu single, and a first-pitch homer by Garcia out to left of center.

Thanks to 213 perfect innings of relief from Juan Minaya, the Sox were able to make it a one-run game in the eighth. Avisail Garcia singled with one out, and Todd Frazier found a way to keep Ryne Stanek’s fastball fair. After hitting a long foul ball earlier in the at-bat, he shortened his arms and yoinked a fly off the foul pole for a two-run shot.

Tim Anderson maintained the momentum with a double over third base, then thickened the plot by stealing third with Yolmer Sanchez at the plate. Sanchez worked a 3-1 count, but his hot shot found a drawn-in Daniel Robertson, and Anderson had to freeze. Omar Narvaez came in when Alex Colome did, but he flied out to left to end the threat.

Then Gregory Infante grooved an 0-2 fastball to Colby Ramus for the Rays’ fourth homer of the game, kicking the lead too far out of reach.

Bullet points:

*Willy Garcia almost had a Little League home run when he doubled and took third on a bad throw back to the infield. When that throw to third bounded into foul territory toward the outfield, he tried for home, but Bourjos backed up the play well and cut him down at the plate.

*That bizarre sequence came right after the White Sox turned a 5-2-5-1-6-2 double play to end the bottom of the second. The Rays had a runner on third with one out when Robertson hit a grounder to third. Frazier foiled the contact play and got Kiermaier caught in rundown, but they made so many throws that Robertson not only took second, but saw an opportunity to take third. The Sox’ sloppiness actually benefited them, as Anderson threw to Smith at third for the easy tag.

*Kiermaier jammed his hip on an awkward slide into first, as he was attempting to beat/avoid Jose Abreu charging from the other direction. It was an odd day on the basepaths.

Record: 25-33 | Box score | Highlights