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White Sox defeat Rays, pull within one-game of Tigers
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Alex Rios hit a solo homer and Gavin Floyd tossed five innings of one-run baseball, as the Chicago White Sox cooled off the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, in the second test of a four-game series.
Kevin Youkilis and Alexei Ramirez added an RBI apiece for the White Sox, who are now one game behind the Tigers for first place in the AL Central. Detroit lost to the Twins on Friday.
"I thought it was amazing how many fans at once were looking at that scoreboard (checking the outcome of the Detroit game)," said White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham. "You would've thought that we just hit a home run."
Floyd (11-11) gave up two hits while striking out six and walking five for Chicago, which snapped a three-game skid. He improved to 5-1 in six career starts against the Rays.
Ben Zobrist hit a solo homer for Tampa Bay, which had its eight-game winning streak snapped.
Jeremy Hellickson (9-11) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings for the Rays, who fell three games behind Oakland for the final wild card spot in the AL.
"(Hellickson) pitched well enough to win," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "Giving up three runs, we should be able to win a game like tonight's game but we did not. But again, we are playing hard and the guys care."
Zobrist's two-out homer to right field in the first inning gave the Rays an early lead.
The White Sox tied the game in the third. Beckham led off with a single to center, advanced to second on Hellickson's throwing error and scored on Youkilis' base hit to right.
Rios led off the fourth with a homer to left field to give Chicago a 2-1 edge.
The White Sox tacked on another run in the sixth. Rios doubled to left and raced home on Ramirez's two-out single to left, making it 3-1.
Tampa Bay put runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth. Nate Jones got Jeff Keppinger to ground into a fielder's choice to keep it a two- run game.
Addison Reed recorded the final two outs in the ninth to pick up his 29th save of the season.
The White Sox lead the season series by a 4-1 margin ... Tampa Bay went 0- for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight ... Chicago went 2- for-11 with RISP and left seven men on ... Jesse Crain pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief for the White Sox.
09/29 02:04:40 ET