Tampa Bay (36-65) at Chicago (53-50)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 26, 2003
  • TV: WPXM, WGN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The last time the Chicago White Sox were playing this well, Jimmy Carter was president and Frank Thomas was nine years old.

The White Sox look to continue their longest winning streak in 26 years as they continue a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.

Thomas hit his 400th career homer Friday, helping Chicago to a 7-2 win over Tampa Bay on Friday. The White Sox have won eight straight to move within four games of first place in the AL Central. They haven’t won nine in a row since July 1-9, 1977.

Thomas became just the 36th major leaguer to reach the 400-homer mark. He also helped Chicago move three games above .500 for the first time since April 27.

“I’m very proud of it, but the goal for me is 500,” said Thomas, who became the second player this week to reach 400—Houston’s Jeff Bagwell did it Sunday.

“It was great just to do it at home. (The fans) feel it, too. They know the organization here is about winning it this year and they are starting to support it like they should.”

Mike Porzio hopes to help the White Sox continue their run.

Used strictly as a reliever in his first two big league seasons, Porzio posted his first career win as a starter Monday, allowing three runs over five innings in a 4-3 victory over Cleveland.

“He gave us a chance to win and that’s the most important thing,” White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said of Porzio, who was making his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte two weeks ago.

“When your fifth starter goes out and leaves you with the lead, you’ve got to be happy with that.”

Toby Hall homered for the Devil Rays, who have lost three of their last four games.

STANDINGS: Devil Rays - 5th place, 27 GB, AL East. White Sox - 2nd place, 4 GB, AL Central.

DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Rob Bell (2-2, 6.14 ERA). Bell is unbeaten in his last four starts, and is coming off his most impressive outing of the season. The right-hander allowed one run and six hits over a season-high 7 1-3 innings in a 3-2 victory over Anaheim on Monday. Bell is 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox.

WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Porzio (1-1, 5.06 ERA). Porzio was 2-2 in 47 career relief appearances before making consecutive starts for the White Sox. He has yielded one hit in three scoreless innings of relief against the Devil Rays.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli, .304 avg. and 53 runs; Aubrey Huff, 18 HRs and 55 RBIs; Carl Crawford, 25 SBs. White Sox - Magglio Ordonez, .314 avg. and 60 runs; Thomas, 24 HRs; Carlos Lee, 65 RBIs; Lee and Willie Harris, 9 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Devil Rays - Tampa Bay is 1-2 on its 11-game road trip. … RHP Bell is 1-0 with a 4.41 ERA in two road appearances, including two starts, this season. … The Devil Rays took two of three from the White Sox at Tropicana Field from July 4-6. They have not won a series since. White Sox - 2B Roberto Alomar is riding a nine-game hitting streak. … OF Lee has also hit safely in nine straight games. … The White Sox have homered in 13 straight home games.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devil Rays - 14-34 on the road; White Sox - 32-19 at home.

INJURIES: Devil Rays - SS Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; OF Ben Grieve (blood clot), 15-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 60-day DL. White Sox - LHP Kelly Wunsch (strained left side), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Bell CWS vs. M. Porzio Atl
5-4 Record 1-1
5.52 ERA 6.43
44 K 9
39 BB 1
1.41 WHIP 1.36