Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson struck out a career-high 13 batters and the Chicago White Sox cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Outfielder Alex Rios led the way offensively, going 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored. It was the fourth win of the season for the White Sox, and kept the Rays winless on the season.
Not only was Jackson’s 13 strike outs a career high, it set the White Sox record for strike outs in a home opener.
The AL East champion Rays extended the worst start in team history – they haven’t even held a lead yet this year. Tampa Bay has scored exactly one run in five of its defeats.
Jackson (2-0), who pitched a no-hitter against Tampa Bay last season while with Arizona, allowed four hits in eight innings. He lost his shutout bid in the eighth when pinch-hitter Felipe Lopez double and Reid Brignac singled.
At 0-6, the Rays have totaled only eight runs and 27 hits this season. They are tied for the worst record in the majors with the only other winless team in the majors, the division rival Boston Red Sox.
With a foggy start and a 39-degree temperature at the first pitch, the White Sox reached David Price (0-2) for two first-inning runs and finished with 12 hits.
Chicago played for a second straight game without slugging designated hitter Adam Dunn, who had an emergency appendectomy early Wednesday morning. Dunn dressed for the game and was introduced with his teammates during the pregame ceremony, but there is no timetable for his return.
Rays DH Manny Ramirez missed the game because of a family matter but should be ready for Friday night’s game.
Alex Rios hit a two-run double in the first off Price after Juan Pierre singled and Gordon Beckham was hit by a pitch. Rios doubled again in the third and scored on a single by Paul Konerko. Brent Lillibridge and Pierre added RBI singles in the eighth.
Price, a 19-game winner last season, is now 0-4 in four career starts against the White Sox. He gave up nine hits and three runs in six innings.
Sam Fuld singled leading off the game and tried to create some offense by stealing two bases. But Jackson fanned Ben Zobrist and got Dan Johnson on a fly ball, stranding Fuld at third. Fuld also walked and stole a base in the third. Jackson then retired 12 straight before B.J. Upton singled with two outs in the seventh.
NOTES: Chicago RHP Jake Peavy, who underwent surgery to repair a detached muscle in his shoulder and then experienced some rotator cuff tendinitis in spring training, is scheduled to throw 75 pitches in a rehab start for Double-A Birmingham on Friday. … Minnie Minoso threw out the first pitch to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. … Attendance was announced as 38,579, a sellout. … Jackson’s 13 strikeouts were the most ever by a White Sox pitcher in a home opener. … Konerko has at least one RBI in each of the first six games.
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