White Sox, Rays reset after getting day off (Jun 06, 2017)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tuesday's series opener between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago White Sox features two teams grateful to have a long-awaited day off on Monday.
The Rays, swept in three games at Seattle, and the White Sox, losers of five straight after a three-game sweep at Detroit, got a much-needed break and hope to show the benefits of that in a three-game set at Tropicana Field.
"The only good thing is that we're getting out of here," Rays manager Kevin Cash said Sunday after his team's third straight loss by a combined score of 28-7. "This team, they beat us in every facet. They outpitched us, outhit us, outdefended us, outmanaged us, everything. We need to enjoy the off day and get back home."
The Rays are 29-30 while the White Sox (24-31) are tied for last place in the AL Central, struggling to get out of their own downward spiral.
"All in all, I thought the guys were a little tired," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Nonetheless, that's not an excuse for some of the mistakes that we made. ... We're in a mode where we just lost a ballgame where we continued to battle. We weren't able to finish it off."
Chicago will try to get back on track with left-hander Jose Quintana, who is 2-7 with one of the highest ERAs in the AL at 5.60. He has been a .500 pitcher in the previous two seasons but has struggled to find any consistency on the mound in 2017.
Quintana has much better numbers in his career against the Rays with a 2.49 ERA since the start of 2014, including a 2.03 ERA at Tropicana Field. He'll go up against Rays right-hander Chris Archer (4-3, 3.74 ERA).
Archer has a career 3-0 record against the White Sox with a 4.11 ERA. Last year, as he sought to avoid the infamy of a 20-loss season, he won his final start of the campaign against the White Sox, scattering three runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Archer hasn't returned to the All-Star form he had in 2014-15 -- he had a combined 17 starts allowing three hits or less in those two seasons. Last year, he had just three such starts, and this year he has yet to give up less than four hits in 12 starts.
The Rays have had bright spots -- Corey Dickerson is a potential All-Star with a team-best .336 average, but that's a full 70 points higher than his next closest teammate. Logan Morrison is among the AL leaders with 16 home runs, but the team's biggest stars, Evan Longoria and Kevin Kiermaier, haven't been as sharp.
Coming off an off day could reset the Rays, and Cash will be hopeful to move away from all-around poor play in the series against the Mariners.
"We didn't catch the ball, we didn't hit and we definitely didn't pitch to our capabilities," he said. "When those three go south on you, it's going to be pretty difficult to try to win a ballgame."