White Sox 9, Rays 2
Jeff Niemann struggled again and the Chicago White Sox took full
Omar Vizquel, A.J. Pierzynski, Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko
each drove in two runs and the White Sox stopped a seven-game
losing streak with a 9-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on
Niemann (0-3) lasted just 4 2-3 innings, giving up six runs and
six hits. He struck out four, walked two, hit two batters and threw
a wild pitch.
”He’s still not back where we need him to be, but he’s on the
verge,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. ”He’s not far off
despite what you may think. With him it’s about sharpness, command
with his pitches and he’s not there yet. You see flashes of
Niemann is 1-8 with an 8.87 ERA in 11 starts since going on the
disabled list last year with a strained shoulder.
”I’m feeling good,” Niemann said. ”I just have to get better
and make those crucial pitches.”
The White Sox had been outscored 11-2 in losing the first three
games of the four-game series against Tampa Bay.
Gavin Floyd (2-1) allowed two runs in six innings. He struck out
seven and hit two batters.
Sam Fuld had two RBIs for the Rays, who lost for just the second
time in 10 games. Tampa Bay went 6-2 during an eight-game
”We didn’t win tonight, but when you win three out of four
versus the Twins and then the White Sox, that’s not bad,” Maddon
said. ”I’ll take it.”
Juan Pierre opened the first with a bunt single and went to
third when Rays third baseman Felipe Lopez was charged with an
error for an errant throw to first on the play. Pierre then scored
to make it 1-0 on Vizquel’s grounder.
Pierre also started a four-run third against Niemann with
another bunt single. Vizquel doubled home a run, Konerko and Adam
Dunn each had RBI singles and Pierzynski hit a sacrifice fly.
”The way the team’s playing right now, all you want to do is go
out there and keep the momentum rolling,” Niemann said. ”Giving
up a big inning like that is definitely going to halt the
Fuld cut the Rays’ deficit to 5-2 in the fourth with a two-run
Chicago took a 6-2 lead on Pierzynski’s RBI single in the fifth.
Quentin extended the advantage to 8-2 on a two-run double during
Konerko added an RBI single in the eighth.
Rays designated hitter Johnny Damon went 1 for 4 in his return
after missing the previous three games because of a left ring
finger injury. He picked up career hit 2,585, which moved him past
Reggie Jackson into 79th place all-time, on his third-inning
”He looked good after taking a couple days off,” Maddon
NOTES: Damon has a 10-game hitting streak. … All eight Rays’
hits were singles. … Fuld went 2 for 5 for his seventh multihit
game this season. … Vizquel replaced 2B Gordon Beckham, who is
mired in a 2 for 25 slide. Guillen said he may move Beckham out of
the second spot in the lineup to help the infielder relax. …
Vizquel played in his 2,855th game, which is one away from tying
Robin Yount for 14th place all-time.