White Sox 5, Devil Rays 2

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Jon Garland was hit on the hand by batted ball during the first inning. It turned out to be a good thing.

Garland pitched seven solid innings and Jermaine Dye drove in three runs to lift the Chicago White Sox over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-2 Wednesday night.

The right-hander was hit on the knuckle of his right middle finger by Jonny Gomes’ grounder that resulted in an inning-ending double play. After that, Garland was able to put his early-season road woes away for at least one night.

“To tell you the truth, I think it was getting hit in the hand, I didn’t try to overthrow the ball,” Garland said. “When I try and put too much on the ball, it flattens out. It’s up in the zone. I think it wouldn’t allow me to. I really couldn’t put much on the ball with it, even though the velocity and everything was still there.”

The knuckle did tighten up over the final part of Garland’s outing.

“It’s swollen a little bit,” Garland said. “It’s all right. It will be all right.”

Garland (3-2) gave up two runs, six hits and struck out five. He entered with a 1-2 record and a 9.10 ERA in five previous road starts.

“I’m going to try and go out next time and do the same exact thing,” Garland said. “Get ahead in the count, throw strikes and keep my team in the ballgame.”

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Garland was aggressive en route to his first win since April 18.

“He wasn’t behind the hitters that much,” Guillen said. “He trusted his pitches. When you put it all together like that, that’s the kind of game you’re going to get. The only way you’ll get out of a slump is believe in yourself and keep doing what you have to do.”

Bobby Jenks got the final three outs for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

Dye hit a tiebreaking RBI single off Ruddy Lugo (0-2) during a three-run eighth inning that put the White Sox up 5-2. He also homered and has 28 RBIs in his last 24 games.

The Devil Rays’ bullpen has been scored on in 16 of the last 19 games and has an overall ERA of 5.97.

“We’re still trying to define the bullpen,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re still trying to get that done.”

Greg Norton and Gomes homered for Tampa Bay. Seth McClung allowed two runs and eight hits over seven innings. The right-hander has a 1-1 record and a 2.51 ERA in his last five starts.

“Losing overall is frustrating,” McClung said.

Norton put the Devil Rays ahead 1-0 with a second-inning solo homer. Gomes made it 2-0 with his 14th homer of the season in the fourth.

Dye hit his ninth homer to cut it to 2-1 in the fifth, then tied it with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. In last six games against Tampa Bay, Dye is 10-for-21 with three homers and 10 RBIs.

Gomes had an eventful defensive inning during the fifth. He lost count of the outs and threw the ball into the stands after catching a fly ball by Pablo Ozuna for the second out. After Rob Mackowiak followed with a double, Gomes then made an inning-ending diving catch on a drive by Juan Uribe.

A.J. Pierzynski followed Dye’s eighth-inning RBI single with a two-run double that went over Gomes in right to make it 5-2.

Notes

Garland has given up 10 homers in 51 innings this season. Nine have come on the road over 37 2-3 innings. … Pierzynski extended his errorless streak to 150 games. It’s nine short of Rick Cerrone’s major league-record for catchers set from 1987-89…. Tampa Bay 1B Travis Lee is hitless in his last 32 at-bats with runners in scoring position dating back to last season. He flew out with two on and two outs in the fourth. … Chicago DH Jim Thome walked in the fifth and moved past injured New York Yankees RF Gary Sheffield into sole possession of 36th place on the career list with 1,289 walks.

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