MORTON GROVE, Ill. (AP)—The Chicago White Sox are hoping their pitching staff can perform well enough to boost them into the postseason.
The White Sox (77-54) beat the Devil Rays 12-9 in Tuesday’s series opener, moving one-half game ahead of Minnesota—which lost 2-0 to Kansas City— for the AL wild card.
Jermaine Dye homered and drove in four runs and Joe Crede tied a career-high with four hits for Chicago, which has won four of six. The White Sox’s bullpen allowed four runs in the eighth inning, but held on for the victory.
“Our main thing, the biggest goal we have is our pitching staff. Obviously, they just don’t do what they are supposed to do. This was a win, this was an ugly win,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Jim Thome missed his fifth straight game with a strained left hamstring, but should be back in the lineup Wednesday if Chicago’s weather conditions improve.
Freddy Garcia gave up five runs in seven innings but still earned the win. The White Sox will look for a better start out of Garland (15-4, 4.47 ERA), who allowed just six hits in a complete-game, 10-0 win at Detroit on Thursday.
Garland has won his last three starts, allowing a total of just one earned run over that span, and is 11-1 with a 2.97 ERA in 14 appearances, including 13 starts, since June 13.
The right-hander has 33 wins since the beginning of last season, tying him with St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter for the most in the majors. He can match Toronto’s Roy Halladay for this season’s major league wins lead with a victory on Wednesday.
Garland is 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA in seven career starts against Tampa Bay.
Delmon Young, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft, made his major league debut for the Devil Rays (52-80) on Tuesday. Young, who served a 50-game suspension earlier in the season for throwing his bat at a minor league umpire, was hit with a pitch his first time up but hit a two-run homer in his third plate appearance and finished 2-for-3.
Garcia claimed that he did not intend to hit Young, but the Devil Rays yelled at the pitcher and retaliated by hitting A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth inning.
“Now in the future we will handle our own problems, and we don’t want anybody else to think they need to discipline us. For me, I want the word out that’s the last that time it should happen. It’s over for him,” said Tampa manager Joe Maddon, who expects Young to be an everyday player the rest of the season. “It’s obvious what they (White Sox) did. Nobody else needs to discipline us, we’ll take care of that ourselves.”
Jorge Cantu also had a two-run homer for the Devil Rays, who have dropped five straight games and are in danger of finishing last in the AL East for the eighth time in their nine seasons of existence.
Corcoran, who has never faced the White Sox, is 0-6 with a 5.67 ERA over his last eight starts and has not won a start since July 5 against Boston. He also earned a victory out of the bullpen on July 8 against the New York Yankees.