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White Sox rally for third straight win

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Things finally appear to be looking up for the Chicago White Sox after three rough weeks to start the season.

The White Sox gave up three early runs to Tampa Bay, then used the long ball to overtake the Rays on the way to a 5-4 Chicago victory at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday night.

"When you fall behind 3-0, you know you have your work cut out for you, but what better way for the team to show our character and to not get down on the way things have been," Chicago starter Jake Peavy said. "We could have easily buried ourselves."

Adam Dunn snapped out of a lengthy slump with two hits, while three teammates added long balls in the fifth and sixth innings to make a winner of Peavy (3-1) and give Chicago its third straight victory.

Hector Gimenez clubbed his first major league home run -- a solo shot to right -- and Tyler Greene followed with a two-run homer to center to give the White Sox their first lead at 4-3.

Conor Gillaspie added a solo home run in the sixth, his second of the year, in Chicago's first multi-homer game of the season.

The Rays scored once in the ninth against White Sox reliever Addison Reed as Matt Joyce singled home Jose Molina with two out. Reed then walked Ryan Roberts to put runners on first and second, but Ben Zobrist closed an 0-for-5 night by striking out to end the game.

Chicago was 7-12 entering the series, including 3-7 on the road.

"As bad as things went the first few weeks, in times past you'd see some panic with different people around the organization and with different players," Peavy said. "The staff continually had our backs (and we've) come back and played a little better."

Tampa Bay dropped its second straight and fell to 2-9 on the road this season.

"We've got to figure out how to win on the road," said Joyce, who was 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. "That's the forefront of our concerns."

Peavy worked 6 2/3 innings and gave up three earned runs on seven hits. He struck out six, walked just one and gave up two home runs. Reed earned the save, his eighth.

Rays starter Roberto Hernandez (1-4) allowed eight hits on five earned runs while striking out five.

Dunn, who was 3-for-50 in his last 13 games entering Friday, has seen a steady revival this week.

He walked three times on Wednesday and went 1-for-4 with a homer in Thursday's 5-2 win. On Friday he was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI single.

"He's had a lot of quality at-bats, and if you string those together you're going to get some good numbers and good production out of him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

Tampa Bay opened a 1-0 lead in the third as Joyce launched Peavy's one-out, 2-2 pitch to right for a solo home run, his third of the season and second in six days.

The Rays added two more in the fourth as Evan Longoria led off with a solo home run to right for his team-high sixth of the season.

James Loney followed with a double to right, advanced to third on Sean Rodriguez's infield sacrifice and scored when Kelly Johnson singled to right with one out.

"We were playing well and (Hernandez) was pitching well, and then all of a sudden they got the three runs in one inning and that was pretty much the tale," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Peavy, of course, was good. We had a chance there at the end but you can't rely on that all the time."

Chicago got one run back in the fourth on Dunn's second hit of the night -- a one-out single to right that scored Greene, whose base hit led off the inning.

The White Sox scored three more in the fifth to take their first lead at 4-3.

Gimenez cut Chicago's deficit to 3-2 with his home run, a lead-off shot over the right-field fence on Hernandez's 2-2 pitch. Alejandro De Aza then reached on a one-out single and scored on Greene's first-pitch home run to center that gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead.

"When I get in the game, my energy level goes up," said Gimenez, playing in just his sixth game. "It was very exciting (to get the home run), but I'm happy to win the game because that's more important to me."

Tampa Bay left-hander Matt Moore goes for a franchise-first five wins in April on Saturday, while Chicago right-hander Gavin Floyd seeks his first win. He's 0-3 with a 4.98 ERA.

NOTES: Rays pitching prospect Jose Disla was suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for performance enhancing substances, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Friday. The 17-year-old right-hander and Dominican Republic native is currently on the Dominican Summer League Rays' roster. ... Tampa Bay entered Friday's game with a 2-8 road record, worst in the American League. Cincinnati (1-6) has the worst mark in baseball away from home. ... If Moore wins Saturday he'll tie Boston's Clay Buchholz for the Major League lead with five victories. ... The Rays have scored a collective 18 runs in the first inning this season, more than any other frame. But they didn't add to that on Friday, going one-two-three in the first. ... White Sox second baseman Jeff Keppinger sat out Friday's game after suffering back spasms late in Thursday's 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay. Greene made his fifth start of the season in Keppinger's place. ... Dunn, who came into Thursday's series opener with a 2-for-46 performance (.043), appeared to be shaking out of the slump with a homer on Thursday followed by a second-inning double and fourth-inning single on Friday to temporarily lift his season average to .132 ... It was the 12th one-run game of the season for Chicago.
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