White Sox Gap With Detroit Worsens To 2 Games
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CHICAGO (AP)—Matt Moore pitched one-hit ball into the sixth, Matt Joyce homered twice and the Tampa Bay Rays stayed three games behind in the chase for the second AL wild card Saturday by beating the sliding Chicago White Sox 10-4.
Tampa Bay, with nine wins in 10 games, remained three games out of the second wild card behind Oakland, which beat Seattle 7-4 Saturday.
The White Sox, who’ve dropped 9 of 11, fell two games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
Both the Rays and White Sox have four games left, including Sunday’s series finale when Tampa Bay ace David Price goes for his 20th victory.
Moore (11-11), 0-4 in his previous five starts, retired the first 13 batters before Alex Rios singled with one out in the fifth. Dayan Viciedo followed with a walk but Moore got out of it on a fly ball and a strikeout of Tyler Flowers.
Moore went 5 1-3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts in outpitching White Sox ace Chris Sale. Jeff Keppinger and Chris Gimenez also homered for the Rays. Joyce, who didn’t start the game, had a solo shot in the seventh and a three-run shot in the eighth, giving him 17 for the season.
With the White Sox trailing 10-0 in the eighth, pinch-hitter Orlando Hudson hit a grand slam off reliever Chris Archer — Chicago’s fourth hit all day.
Sale (17-8), who has pitched 192 innings in his first year as a starter, lasted just 3 1-3 innings, his shortest start of the season. He gave up seven hits and was charged with five runs while walking three and striking out seven.
Sale had beaten Moore 2-1 at Tropicana Field on May 28 when he struck out 15 to Moore’s 10, but this time he wasn’t sharp from the outset.
The Rays had two runners on in both the first and second innings but Sale used his strikeout pitch to escape — he had five in the first two frames.
But B.J. Upton drew a leadoff walk in third and raced home on Ben Zobrist’s double into the left-field corner. Evan Longoria lined out, but Keppinger hit his ninth homer, just over the fence in left-center to make it 3-0.
Upton’s RBI single in the fourth made it 4-0 and finished the young White Sox ace. Longoria added a run-scoring single off reliever Brian Omogrosso with Upton thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Gimenez hit his first homer of the season and sixth of his major league career, leading off the sixth against Deunte Heath for a six-run cushion.
NOTES: Moore’s fourth strikeout of the game in the fifth was his 175th of the season, setting the Rays’ rookie record. Scott Kazmir had 174 in 2005. … White Sox leadoff hitter Alejandro De Aza was scratched from the lineup with flu-like symptoms and replaced by Dewayne Wise. … Price (19-5), who could become the first 20-game winner in Tampa Bay history, will be opposed by Chicago’s Jose Quintana (6-5) on Sunday.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)