Since I did not write a series preview for all of our avid readers, I will attempt to break down every game of this series instead. Coming off of a two game split with the Cleveland Indians, the perennial contenders in the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays came to town for a three game set. The White Sox really need to get back on track and win some games to ensure they stay competitive this year and they had a great start to the series in their win last night over the Rays.
The game featured starters Jeremy Hellickson for the Rays and Chris Sale for the White Sox. Chris Sale looked fairly shaky as he walked four batters, however he made up for his lack of command with seven strikeouts and only giving up 2 hits. The bullpen that followed him looked absolutely stellar as only one base runner was allowed by both Matt Lindstrom and closer, Addison Reed.
Jeremy Hellickson struggled for the Rays giving up five hits and four walks, giving up five earned runs. Despite performing walking so many batters, like Sale, Hellickson struck out eight batters. The bullpen for Tampa was also strong, with the combination of Jamey Wright and Brandon Gomes only allowing two base runners for the White Sox. The game was a battle of starting pitchers and the White Sox were able to pull ahead with the solid start from Chris Sale.
On the offensive side Adam Dunn was reawakened at the plate after he went deep for the fourth time on the season. This represents a big step for Dunn as his hitting is becoming slightly more consistent despite his average being so low. In addition the Sox hit fairly well with runners in scoring position, going two for five on the day, with three doubles from De Aza, Keppinger, and Ramirez. Hopefully, this game will be a sign of things to come in the future and the Sox will consistently hit this well, in addition to pitching as well as they have all season.
Next Game: Roberto Hernandez 1-3, 4.74 ERA v. Gavin Floyd 2-1, 3.20 ERA 7:10 CST