American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, September 28th
(All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (86-70) at Chicago White Sox (82-74), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Jeremy Hellickson (9-10, 3.20)
Chicago - Gavin Floyd (10-11, 4.56)
(Sports Network) - President Barack Obama may have put the jinx on his Chicago
White Sox a few days ago when he told a crowd in Woodbridge, Va., they would
meet the Washington Nationals in the World Series.
The White Sox could miss the playoffs all together with losses in three
straight and eight of nine games. They look to get untracked tonight in the
second portion of a four-game series versus the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays.
Evan Longoria's solo home run off of Brett Myers in the top of the ninth
proved to be the difference in a 3-2 decision and pushed Chicago two games
back of the Detroit Tigers for the American League Central lead. Detroit won
its fourth in a row against Kansas City on Thursday.
White Sox starter Jake Peavy struck out six and gave up two runs over 7 1/3
innings in the no-decision. Kevin Youkilis had three hits and Dayan Viciedo
drove in a run for the White Sox, who are 1-3 on a seven-game homestand.
"The efforts there, everybody's grinding, giving everything they've got, it's
just not happening," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said.
The White Sox need a strong outing from Gavin Floyd this evening and the
right-hander will make his fourth start since coming off the disabled list.
Floyd is 1-2 since his return and was roughed up in Sunday's 4-1 loss at the
La Angels of Anaheim, charged with four runs in six innings.
Floyd fell below the .500 mark at 10-11 in his 27th start and has a 4.56
earned run average in that span. He has pitched well at U.S. Cellular Field,
going 7-4 with a 4.74 ERA in 16 starts, and is 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA in five
career starts against the Rays.
Tampa Bay extended its season-high winning streak to eight games thanks to
Longoria's big blast in the top of the ninth. The club was able to pull within
two games of the final wild card berth in the American League, but the LA
Angels of Anaheim also sit two games off the mark.
"It's one game. I hate to bring down the mood, but it doesn't put us ahead,"
Longoria said. "It brings us a little closer, but it doesn't guarantee
Luke Scott finished 2-for-3 with a home run for the Rays, who last won eight
straight from Sept. 24, 2011-April 8, 2012. Tampa Bay won a franchise-best 12
in a row from June 9-22, 2004.
Joel Peralta earned the win with a scoreless eighth inning and Fernando Rodney
worked around a two-out base hit by Youkilis to record his 46th save of the
season. James Shields pitched the first 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs and
six hits with six Ks and four walks.
Jeremy Hellickson can keep the Rays' playoff hopes alive with a decent outing
tonight and ended a five-start winless drought (0-2) his last time out in a
3-0 win over Toronto on Sunday. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year struck out
six and allowed two walks over 5 2/3 shutout innings.
The win lifted his record to 9-10 in 29 starts with a 3,20 earned run average.
In 12 starts on the road, Hellickson is 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA and has never
faced the White Sox.
Chicago swept an early-season series against the Rays from May 28-30 and has
won six of the past 10 matchups between the two clubs.
09/28 10:30:33 ET