Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays series primer

BY foxsports • June 12, 2015

More injuries. More roster shuffling. More need to improvise on the fly.

What else is new?

The Tampa Bay Rays' tussle with the disabled list continues, after right-hander Jake Odorizzi (left oblique strain) was added Tuesday and right-hander Andrew Bellatti (shoulder tendinitis) joined Thursday. Also Thursday, the Rays optioned reliever Preston Guilmet, designated catcher Bobby Wilson for assignment and recalled relievers Enny Romero and C.J. Riefenhauser.

Such is life for Tampa Bay this season. Despite their rash of injuries, the Rays (32-29) remain near the top of the American League East by standing two games behind the New York Yankees after losing two of three contests against the Los Angeles Angels from Tuesday to Thursday at Tropicana Field.

The Chicago White Sox arrive as the next test for a three-game series from Friday to Sunday at Tropicana Field. They enter with momentum after sweeping the Houston Astros in a three-game series from Monday to Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field. At 28-30, the White Sox remain a distant fourth in the AL Central, 6 1/2 games behind the Kansas City Royals.

Here's a closer look at the upcoming Rays-White Sox series ...

SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS

WHO'S HOT

Jose Abreu (White Sox): He hit .304 (7 for 23) with two home runs and seven RBI in six games from June 5-10. He had two multi-hit contests in the span. He has hit .283 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI this season.

Joey Butler (Rays): He hit .304 (7 for 23) with three RBI in six games from June 5-11. He had two multi-hit contests in the span. He has hit .330 with four home runs and 14 RBI this season.

WHO'S NOT

Carlos Sanchez (White Sox): He hit .091 (1 for 11) with four strikeouts in five games from June 5-10. His lone hit in the span came in a victory over the Astros on June 10. He has hit .156 with five RBI this season.

Steven Souza Jr. (Rays): He hit .087 (2 for 23) with seven strikeouts in six games from June 5-11. He was held without a hit in four contests in the span. He has hit .213 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI this season.

STORYLINES

1-2: Rays' record against the Angels from June 9-11 to open their eight-game homestand. The results followed a 7-3 road trip for Tampa Bay.

0: Times the Rays have played the White Sox before the current series. The teams don't play again until Aug. 3-5 in Chicago.

15-18: Rays' home record. It's the only losing home mark in the AL East, and all teams in the division except for the Boston Red Sox (15-14) have more victories at home.

QUOTE BOARD

"Great player, future Hall of Famer. Would prefer for him to go ahead and get out of Tampa." -- Manager Kevin Cash, in referring to Angels first baseman Albert Pujols after the Rays' 8-2 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. Pujols tied former New York Yankees star Mickey Mantle with his 536th career home run.

"To win games and be the type of team that we want to be, we've got to do that more times than not for sure. Rarely are we going to make many mistakes and get away with it." -- Cash to reporters, after the Rays' 4-2 victory over the Angels on Wednesday at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay used four relievers in the win.

"Brought our guys in and it just didn't work out tonight. We'll still take those chances anytime we get them with our bullpen. We have a ton of confidence in them." -- Cash to reporters, after the Rays' 6-2 loss to the Angels on Thursday at Tropicana Field. Los Angeles outhit Tampa Bay 14-5.

GIVEAWAYS

June 12 -- MLB Network Reusable Tote Bag

June 13 -- Lee Brice Postgame Concert

June 14 -- Rays Etch A Sketch

LOOKING AHEAD

June 15-16 -- Nationals at Rays

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.


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