Devil Rays 5, White Sox 3, 10 innings
CHICAGO (AP)—The Chicago White Sox keep wasting opportunities.
Jorge Cantu hit a two-run single in the 10th inning, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the White Sox 5-3 Thursday to keep Chicago from pulling within 3 1/2 games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
“We don’t do any good when Detroit is losing and we’re losing,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We need to win the most games we can, and obviously it would have been nice to win today and be one game (closer), but we didn’t. Watching the scoreboard right now is too much, at least for me.”
Chicago, which remained a half-game ahead of Minnesota in the AL wild-card race, has not been within 3 1/2 games of first since before play on July 19.
“This is a game we should’ve won. We had chances and we just didn’t get it done,” said A.J. A.J. Pierzynski, whose two-run homer in the sixth gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead.
With Pierzynski’s homer, the defending World Series champions became the first major league team to hit 200 homers in seven straight seasons.
“Congratulations,” Guillen said sarcastically. The New York Yankees have hit 200 homers in the past six seasons and have 167 this year.
“It doesn’t mean anything,” Pierzynski said. “It’s nice we’ve hit 200 home runs, but we needed to win this game.”
After winning two of three from Tampa Bay, the White Sox head to Kansas City for a weekend series.
“Two out of three from now on, I’ll take that,” Guillen said.
Delmon Young led off the 10th against Brandon McCarthy (3-5) with his fourth hit of the game, took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Carl Crawford’s groundout. Greg Norton was intentionally walked and Navarro walked on four pitches, loading the bases for Cantu, who singled to left.
“I was just trying to put a good swing on the ball and get on base so the people behind me could drive me in,” Young said. “Cantu came through.”
Young, who was suspended 50 games in the minor leagues this year for flipping a bat and hitting an umpire, is 8-for-11 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs in three games since he was brought up by Tampa Bay this week. He moved up to second in the batting order after hitting eighth and seventh the previous two games.
“I’ll take a few more of those for the next 10 years,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “I see him as fitting in very well right now.”
The decision to walk Norton might have affected McCarthy’s rhythm.
“It shouldn’t and I’m going to say that it didn’t,” McCarthy said. “It’s happened a couple times this year, and I’m not sure if I lose something after that. Maybe there is something there. But that purely falls on me.”
“It’s wonderful to win the game, but I just like the way we stay after it,” Maddon said.
White Sox starter Javier Vazquez gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings.
“I will take this outing every day from him,” Guillen said. “He threw the ball real well.”
Tampa Bay’s Jason Hammel allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Dave Hollins got an RBI grounder for Tampa Bay in the fourth when first baseman Ross Gload couldn’t come up with second baseman Tadahito Iguchi’s relay throw to complete what would have been an inning-ending double play.
White Sox DH Jim Thome missed the game after slightly re-aggravating his strained left hamstring Wednesday. Guillen said after the game he would probably rest Thome again Friday in Kansas City. … Crawford started at DH for Tampa Bay for the first time this season. He started one game at DH last season and seven in his career. … Tampa Bay OF Rocco Baldelli was supposed to get the day off to rest his left hamstring. He entered the game in the 10th as a defensive replacement. … The Devil Rays are 18-51 on the road and at 8-20 in August, lost 20 games in a month for the first time since June 2004. … Gload had an error as well as his dropped double play ball, but made up for it with a nice diving catch of Ben Zobrist’s foul ball in the seventh. He also finished off a double play in that inning.