ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Andy Sonnanstine didn’t stray from his game plan and it resulted in the best start of his career.
“Incredible,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “Just pounded the strike zone with his fastball—mixed in his off-speed pitches appropriately.”
The White Sox had just three singles, including a bunt hit, and didn’t get a runner past second base. After two of the hits, Sonnanstine got inning-ending double play grounders.
“Was he that good tonight? Yes, he was that good,” White Sox outfielder Nick Swisher said.
Sonnanstine (2-1) struck out four and walked one. The right-hander struggled in his previous start Monday, allowing seven runs and nine hits over 3 1-3 innings against the New York Yankees.
“He made an adjustment,” Maddon said. “He knew he had got away from his normal game plan. He went back to pitching aggressive. That’s even beyond expectations tonight. That was a really clean game he pitched.”
Sonnanstine threw 77 of 106 pitches for strikes. The shutout came in his 26th career start.
“I felt like tonight I didn’t stray from the plan,” Sonnanstine said. “I pitched off the fastball. Everything looked much sharper because I was throwing more fastballs.”
Tampa Bay stopped a six-game losing skid against Chicago.
Mark Buehrle (1-2) gave up five runs and 12 hits in seven innings for the White Sox, who lost for the fifth time in the last 15 games. The left-hander, who had five strikeouts and two walks, dropped to 6-2 overall against the Rays.
I feel fine,” Buehrle said. “It’s one of those games that they got a lot of hits. I wasn’t on the top of my game.”
A botched second-inning rundown cost the White Sox three runs.
Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch from Buehrle with two outs in the second. He was caught leaning toward second on Buehrle’s pick-off throw to first, but Chicago failed to get him out and Gomes took second. Gomes was credited with a stolen base.
“Nothing is won or lost right there, but it definitely set the tempo,” Gomes said. “It worked out.”
It was the second straight game Chicago failed to execute a rundown.
“Two nights in a row, it’s kind of weird,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “You don’t see then too often.”
Chicago designated hitter Jim Thome grounded out in all three plate appearances. He had reached base safely in all of his previous 26 games at Tropicana Field.
The game took 2 hours, 2 minutes, which is the fastest ever at Tropicana Field.
Former White Sox coach Art Kusnyer spent time in the clubhouse before the game. Kusnyer, who is undergoing treatment for vision problems, hopes to resume his new role as a minor league bullpen instructor in June. “I was excited about coming up to see everybody,” said Kusnyer, who lives in Sarasota, Fla. “My main focus is to get my sight back, to where I can drive. I’m pretty optimistic that I can get back to work.” … Rays 1B Carlos Pena, who sat out Friday’s game with right hamstring tightness, was the DH. … White Sox OF Jermaine Dye and C A.J. Pierzynski were rested. … Rays C Dioner Navarro (hand) went 1-for-1 with four walks in a rehab start for Class-A Vero Beach. He could rejoin the team in a few days. … Rays RHP Matt Garza (right arm nerve irritation) is scheduled to make a rehab start Sunday for Vero Beach.