White Sox 5, Devil Rays 4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The struggling Chicago White Sox fanned 15 times, yet still gave themselves a reason to feel good about the way they swung the bats.
Rookie Andy Gonzalez went 4-for-5 and drove in two runs, and the White Sox showed signs of pulling out of an offensive funk with plenty of clutch hitting against Tampa Bay during a 5-4 victory that stopped a five-game losing streak on Monday night.
Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Josh Fields also drove in runs for the White Sox, who finished with 12 hits—two shy of their season high—after being limited to two runs and two extra-base hits while losing three straight to the crosstown Cubs over the weekend.
“You look at the scoreboard. Fifteen strikeouts,” Guillen said. “But we got big hits. Two-out base hits. When they had the opportunity to do it, they did it.”
Gonzalez had an RBI double and three singles after going 6-for-33 with one RBI in his first 15 games. His run-scoring single off Casey Fossum (5-7) erased a 4-3 deficit in the sixth, but his bid for a perfect night at the plate ended when he struck out in the eighth.
Every White Sox batter fanned at least once, and Thome did it four times.
“Obviously it wasn’t pretty. But we’ll take whatever we can get right now,” said rookie left-hander John Danks. “We don’t care how we do it as long as we get wins.”
Danks (4-6) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings to win for the time in more than a month. He had been 0-2 with three no decisions in five starts since beating Oakland on May 22.
The Chicago bullpen protected a 5-4 lead for the rookie, with Nick Masset, Matt Thornton, Ryan Bukvich and Bobby Jenks each working a scoreless inning. Jenks earned his 19th save in 21 opportunities with a perfect ninth.
“I guess I was kind of the weak link today, but we were able to overcome that,” Danks said.
The bullpen has struggled lately, going 2-11 with a 8.12 ERA and seven blown saves in Chicago’s previous 41 games. The relievers Guillen called on Monday night yielded one hit in four innings and retired the last 11 Devil Rays.
“That’s what we’re looking for. I think we have the people to do it,” Guillen said. “One inning a guy. They did a tremendous job throwing strikes.”
Jonny Gomes homered for the fifth time since Tampa Bay recalled him from the minor leagues two weeks ago, hitting a solo shot off Danks in the fourth. Josh Wilson drove in two with a RBI single and sacrifice fly, and Ty Wigginton also had a sacrifice fly for the Devil Rays.
Devil Rays starter J.P. Howell allowed eight hits and three runs in five innings. He left with a 4-3 lead that Fossum relinquished by giving up hits to three of the four batters he faced.
Gonzalez’s RBI single off Fossum made it 4-4. Konerko singled off Shawn Camp to drive in a second run charged to Fossum and put the White Sox ahead 5-4.
Camp settled after Konerko’s hit to keep the Devil Rays in the game. He struck out seven in 2 2-3 innings, but Tampa Bay’s inability to solve the White Sox relievers kept Tampa Bay from coming back.
“We did a lot of things well. … They made pitches when they had to. We had some hard hit balls that they caught,” Maddon said. “We didn’t win, but I like the way we’re playing right now.”
Fields, who drew a walk with the bases loaded in the third, has 10 RBIs in his last 11 games. … White Sox OF Jermaine Dye missed his third straight game because of a strained left quadriceps. Manager Ozzie Guillen said a decision on whether he’ll go on the 15-day disabled list probably will be made before this four-game series ends Thursday. … Dick Bosman is serving as Devil Rays interim pitching coach while Jim Hickey recovers from surgery to repair a detached retina. Hickey is expected to rejoin the team on July 3 in Boston. … The starting pitchers combined to throw 198 pitches in the first five innings, with Howell throwing 111 and Danks 87.