White Sox 9, Rays 2

A bunch of White Sox players started hitting again, all at

once.

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

Thursday night.

”That’s the way we expected to play everyday, to be honest with

you,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. ”I don’t want to be

cocky. This team is allowed to play that way because of the way we

built this ballclub and the talent we have.”

The White Sox had been outscored 11-2 in losing the first three

games of the four-game series against Tampa Bay.

”We needed a game like that,” Guillen said. ”We need a game

to build confidence. We were desperate for a win. We all knew that.

We stayed positive. The guys were optimistic.”

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.

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.

”Definitely tried to get off to a good start and just get the

lead,” Pierre said. ”A sigh of relief just to have the lead in

that first inning.”

Pierre also started a four-run third against Jeff Niemann (0-3)

with another bunt single. Vizquel doubled home a run, Konerko and

Adam Dunn each had RBI singles and Pierzynski hit a sacrifice

fly.

”Pierre really set the tone with the bunts, and then Vizquel

… the top of the order pretty much set the tone for them,” Rays

manager Joe Maddon said.

Fuld cut the Rays’ deficit to 5-2 in the fourth with a two-run

single.

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

the sixth.

Konerko added an RBI single in the eighth.

”Maybe this might be a little momentum we need going into the

next series, but everybody all around had a good game,” Pierre

said. ”Just a good feeling to get a win, again.”

Niemann 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.

”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, that is definitely going to halt the

momentum.”

Niemann is 1-8 with an 8.87 ERA in 11 starts since being on the

disabled list last year for a strained right shoulder.

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

single.

NOTES: 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. … Damon has a 10-game hitting streak. … It

was Vizquel’s first multi-RBI game since last Aug. 27 against the

New York Yankees.