Clevinger returns for White Sox, but Rays greet him rudely in their 8-2 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays gave Mike Clevinger a rude greeting in his 2024 season debut Monday night and finally got in the win column against the Chicago White Sox in the process.

Clevinger (0-1) was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte before the game and allowed four runs, six hits and four walks without a strikeout over two-plus innings in the Rays’ 8-2 victory.

The White Sox (8-27) swept a three-game series from the Rays late last month at Guaranteed Rate Field, accounting for nearly half their 2024 win total. But Tampa Bay got a little revenge Monday for its fourth straight win overall, evening its record at 18-18.

The teams continue their three-game set at Tropicana Field on Tuesday and Wednesday, then the White Sox return home for a Thursday-Sunday four-game series with the Cleveland Guardians.

Clevinger back

Clevinger got a late start this season after finalizing a $3 million, one-year contract with the White Sox on April 4. The right-hander went 9-9 with a 3.77 ERA and two complete games in 24 starts with Chicago last season before becoming a free agent.

“It’s just his first outing, and again, it’s tough to do what he did,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “Sign late, speed it up.

“I mean, there’s a reason why there’s a spring training, right? I just think he’s in the building process.”

Justin Steele’s return makes Cubs’ already stellar starting rotation even better

Despite the rough first outing, Clevinger said it was good to be back.

“This was a long time coming,” he said. “It’s really cool to get in here and feel energy in this clubhouse again.”

For the Rays, meanwhile, Jonny DeLuca continued his hot stretch with a homer and four RBI. He’s driven in 10 runs in four games after being sidelined with a broken right hand all season.

DeLuca had a two-run single in a three-run second against Clevinger, then he hit a two-run homer off Jared Shuster during a three-run fifth that made it 7-2.

“It’s pretty impressive,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The home run was impressive. I liked the two-strike groundball to right. It was just as benefiting for us.”

DeLuca’s 10 RBI are the most through a player’s first four games in Rays history.

Tommy Pham hit a two-run homer for the American League-worst White Sox, who had won two in a row and five of nine.

Erasmo Ramírez (2-0) replaced starter Tyler Alexander with two on and no outs in the fifth and got out of the jam. Ramírez also got the win in the Rays’ 7-6, 10-inning win over the New York Mets on Sunday.

“Erasmo did a tremendous job,” Cash said. “To come right through the 2-3-4 of their lineup and get three flyballs in six pitches was pretty huge.”

Alexander gave up two runs and four hits in four-plus innings.

Tampa Bay’s Harold Ramírez had four hits.

Trainer’s room

White Sox: RHP Dominic Leone went on the 15-day IL with lower back tightness.

Up next

White Sox RHP Michael Soroka (0-3, 6.48 ERA) and Rays RHP Zach Eflin (1-4, 4.17) are Tuesday night’s starters.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:50 p.m.

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