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Sale eyes 18th win for White Sox in matchup with Rays
(Sports Network) - Chris Sale eyes his 18th win, but more importantly tries to keep the Chicago White Sox's postseason hopes alive on Saturday when they continue a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.
Sale has failed to get that win his last two times out and did not get a decision against Cleveland on Monday, as he surrendered three runs and 10 hits in seven innings, dropping him to 17-7 to go along with a 2.86 ERA.
The 23-year-old lefty beat the Rays earlier in the year in his only other start against them and has pitched to a 1.86 ERA in three appearances against them.
Chicago picked up a much needed win on Friday, as Alex Rios hit a solo homer and Gavin Floyd tossed five innings of one-run baseball to help the White Sox to a 3-1 victory.
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."
Getting the call for the Rays on Saturday will be 23-year-old lefty Matt Moore, who has lost his last four decisions. Moore did not get a decision last Saturday against Toronto, as he allowed two runs and three hits with two walks in just two innings.
"He just didn't have it tonight," Maddon said. "Earlier in the season, you can be a little more patient, but you can't be as patient right now. I just did not see him fixing himself tonight."
Moore, who is 10-11 with a 3.92 ERA on the year, has now had three straight outings of four innings or less.
"I couldn't complain about how I'm feeling right now," Moore said. "[Fatigue] is definitely not the issue ... You look at my pitch count and the situation of the game with our standing, where we are right now, is pretty tight right now. It goes without saying that we're gonna make some moves possibly early in the game like that when I don't have it early."
Moore lost to Sale and the White Sox earlier in the season.
Chicago swept an early-season series against the Rays from May 28-30 and has won seven of the past 11 matchups between the two clubs.
09/29 08:56:55 ET