CHICAGO (AP) — Cesar Ramos helped keep his teammates off the field on a cold night.
Ramos and two relievers combined to five-hit the Chicago White Sox in a 4-0 win by the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.
With a first-pitch temperature of 36 degrees, Ramos (1-1) pitched short, efficient innings. He gave up all five hits over five innings in his first scoreless start of the season. He started in place of Matt Moore, who had Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.
It’s cold. It’s tough to get a grip on the ball," Ramos said. "But it’s just about getting in and out quick and getting my defense off the field as quick as possible, and the only way I can do that is throwing strikes and putting the ball in play."
James Loney had three hits for the Rays, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Ryan Hanigan hit a two-run double to give the Rays a 2-0 lead in the second after Loney singled and Logan Forsythe walked.
Loney’s single extended the Rays’ lead to 3-0 in the third. Wil Myers scored after he doubled.
White Sox starter John Danks (2-1) struggled with his command and a high pitch count. He allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four, walked four and threw a career-high 123 pitches.
Danks said none of his pitches were working.
"I had moments where I was able to throw only one of four over the plate but none nearly consistently enough," Danks said. "It’s hard to pitch 2-0, 3-1 to these guys. It’s something we’re definitely going to have to work on."
The White Sox threatened in the fifth, loading the bases with a walk, a single and another walk. Jose Abreu grounded out against Ramos to end the inning. Abreu hit a walk-off grand slam in the White Sox’s 9-6 victory over the Rays on Friday.
"If he gets a hit, they’re right back in the game," Ramos said. "That’s their big guy. I made a pretty decent pitch and (Evan Longoria) made an amazing play, charging for the ball and hit Loney right in the chest."
Danks exited in the sixth after allowing a two-out, RBI triple to Desmond Jennings that made it 4-0. Danks has walked 17 and struck out 18 in 31 innings this season.
Ramos departed after he allowed a leadoff single in the sixth inning in his sixth career start. He walked two but didn’t record a strikeout. Ramos has started three games this season after making four relief appearances. He allowed one run in five innings against the New York Yankees in his previous start.
Ramos threw just 65 pitches, but Rays manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to pull Ramos with Paul Konerko coming to the plate.
"He kept the ball down," Maddon said. "He didn’t make a lot of mistakes up in the strike zone. They put the ball in play. They didn’t hit him hard."
Brandon Gomes threw three shutout innings and Juan Carlos Oviedo pitched a scoreless ninth.
Maddon was ejected in the bottom of the eighth for his first ejection of the season. Home plate umpire Tim Timmons ejected Maddon after he appeared to protest Timmons’ check swing call on leadoff batter Adam Eaton. Timmons called a ball after Eaton checked his swing on a 2-2 count. Eaton grounded out.
The White Sox were shutout for just the second time this season. They were averaging 5.58 runs per game, second in the majors entering Saturday.
NOTES: Before the game, the White Sox placed 3B Conor Gillaspie on the 15-day disabled list due to a left hand contusion, retroactive to Tuesday. Gillaspie is batting .302 with 12 RBIs in 16 games. He said he has been battling the injury for 2-3 weeks and hopes to swing a bat within 5-6 days. Marcus Semien started at third base. … The White Sox added RHP Hector Noesi to the roster after they claimed him off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Friday. He was 0-1 with a 14.21 ERA in 6 1-3 innings with the Rangers and Seattle Mariners. He threw 1 1-3 scoreless innings Saturday. … Rays RHP Grant Balfour stressed he was frustrated with himself and was not directing anger at Konerko when they exchanged words after Balfour walked Konerko in the ninth inning Friday. "It was competitive stuff coming out," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think Paul might have been watching the Blackhawks game." … RHP Scott Carroll will make his major league debut for the White Sox on Sunday. He is 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA for Triple-A Charlotte. LHP David Price (3-1, 4.04) will start for the Rays.