Matt Davidson hits late home run, Chicago White Sox top Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 for 1st home win
Rays 1, White Sox 2
By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer
2:48 AM, Apr 12, 2018
CHICAGO (AP) -- With one big, timely swing, Matt Davidson gave the White Sox the lift they needed to pick up their first home win of the season.
Davidson hit a two-run homer off Austin Pruitt in the eighth inning and Chicago rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Wednesday.
The White Sox had dropped their first five games at Guaranteed Rate Field. That matched their worst home start since 1975 at Comiskey Park.
"You want to take advantage of your home turf, things of that nature," manager Rick Renteria said. "I have to focus myself regardless of whether it's a young team or a veteran team on what we're failing to do."
The White Sox simply haven't been getting the hits they need with runners in scoring position. They're 3 for 46 over the past five games after going 0 for 9 on Wednesday. And the big blow from Davidson came with a runner on first.
Davidson, who hit three home runs on opening day, struck out looking in his previous two at-bats -- with the bases loaded to end the third and with a runner on third and one out in the sixth. But he made up for it with a drive that just cleared the center field wall for his fifth homer, after Jose Abreu singled.
"I think we've all been pretty frustrated," Davidson said. "And to come up like that and win the game, it's huge."
That gave the White Sox their second win in nine games and helped them avoid their first 0-6 home start since they lost their first eight at Comiskey in 1948.
James Shields settled down after a shaky start and exited to cheers with one out in the seventh. He held his former team to one run and four hits while striking out six and walking five -- all in the first two innings.
Bruce Rondon (1-0) retired the side in the eighth. And Nate Jones converted his first save opportunity with a scoreless ninth.
Yonny Chirinos went 5 1/3 innings in his second straight scoreless start, scattering four hits while striking out five and walking one. The 24-year-old right-hander has thrown 14 1/3 scoreless innings over three appearances.
"I've been a starter most of my career," Chirinos said through an interpreter. "I'm just fortunate to have been able to start and let them know that I'm most comfortable being a starter."
C.J. Cron lined an RBI double off the center-field wall in the fifth. But Pruitt (1-2) gave up four hits in the eighth as the Rays fell to 3-9.
The White Sox had runners on first and third with one out in the seventh, only to come away empty-handed.
Left fielder Mallex Smith deflected Omar Narvaez's fly near the line off the thumb of his glove and threw wildly toward second, allowing the runner to reach third. Chaz Roe relieved Jose Alvarado and hit pinch hitter Leury Garcia.
But Narvaez got caught between home and third on a squeeze when Yoan Moncada pulled back while taking a pitch for a strike rather than put his bat on the ball. Catcher Jesus Sucre threw behind the runner, and Moncada then struck out to end the inning.
INFANTE SENT TO TRIPLE-A
The Chicago White Sox optioned right-hander Gregory Infante to Triple-A Charlotte after the game. He has allowed eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings over six relief appearances. The White Sox will make a corresponding move prior to Thursday's game at Minnesota.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier was in the lineup after missing back-to-back games because of a bruised right foot.
White Sox: Chicago held C Welington Castillo (sore right knee) out of the lineup, though he was available after leaving Tuesday's game.
Rays: RHP Jake Faria (0-1, 14.29 ERA) looks to bounce back from a rough start as the Rays return home to open a three-game series against Philadelphia on Friday. Faria got pounded by Boston for a career-high eight runs in 12/3 innings on Saturday. RHP Vince Velasquez (1-1, 5.19) pitches for the Phillies.
White Sox: Chicago opens a four-game series at Minnesota on Thursday, with RHP Lucas Giolito (0-1, 6.17) starting for the White Sox and RHP Jose Berrios (1-1, 3.29) for the Twins.