Although the Sox had eleven hits on the day to the Rays’ four, it was pretty much a pitcher’s ball game. Chicago’s arms allowed only one walk while striking out eight, and the Rays’ countered by striking out seven and giving up two free passes and one HBP.
That HBP was A.J. Pierzynski, in the top of the third. With a man on second and one out, Alex Cobb hit the Sox’ catcher. The White Sox went on to score two runs that inning, for a 3-1 advantage, but the fun was just getting started.
In the fourth inning, Chicago starter Jose Quintana threw behind Ben Zobrist and was immediately tossed. Then White Sox’ manager Robin Ventura was bounced for arguing. It seems the Sox felt Pierzynski had been hit for a nasty slide in last night’s game. He slid into second base on a force play, went over the bag, with cleats high, and spiked Ben Zobrist. Supposedly, when asked what was up by Zobrist, A.J. responded “Whatever.”
We’ll never know, but that “whatever” might have led to the ChiSox’ catcher getting hit. And that might have led to Quintana throwing behind Zobrist’s back. Following the ejections, however, there were no fireworks, aside from Chicago color analyst Hawk Harrelson (Check it out here).
When Chicago left the field, they had a three game sweep of the Rays, and they did it with both the bats and their arms. The Rays will have tomorrow off before facing off with Baltimore at home, in a battle of the American League East’s top two clubs.
- The Rays have committed 42 errors, with only three teams in baseball having more. Usually, they are on the other end of the spectrum. Two of their best defenders, Evan Longoria and Desmond Jenning now reside on the disabled list.
- Carlos Pena is one-for-sixteen over the past five games with one walk.
- Tampa Bay pitching deserved a better fate in games one and three of the series. However, the Sox pitching was even better. During the sweep, the South-siders gave up only fourteen hits and four walks to go along with thirty strikeouts. Tampa Bay’s staff allowed 28 hits, while striking out twenty-eight and walking only six.
- Outfielder Desmond Jennings is scheduled to make his first minor league rehab start at Class A Charlotte before moving on to Triple-A Durham on Friday.
- The Rays have been decimated by injuries, but have competed well, and are still in the hunt for the A.L. East lead. Imagine how much better they will be when they get defense and power back in Evan Longoria, defense and speed back offense with Jennings, and the bat-handling capabilities of Jeff Keppinger. It’s only going to get better, and the club is one day closer to seeing them back on the field.
- The Rays seem to have contentious meetings now with New York, Boston, and newly-added Chicago. Usually, that means you’re doing something right.