CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox had an awful night on the mound and may have lost another player for a while.
Gavin Floyd left after 2 2-3 innings with a flexor muscle strain in his right arm, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Chicago 10-4 Saturday night.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Floyd (0-4) is likely headed to the disabled list and would “probably” be replaced in the rotation by Hector Santiago, who threw 86 pitches in relief Saturday. Floyd went on the DL last August with a similar injury.
Deunte Heath is expected to be called up from Triple-A Charlotte to take Santiago’s spot in the bullpen.
Floyd, who threw 47 pitches and allowed two earned runs, left after throwing a first-pitch strike to Evan Longoria. If he is out, Floyd would join Dayan Viciedo and Gordon Beckham on the DL and present Ventura with another challenge.
“You don’t have a choice. You just keep going,” Ventura said. “The games are on the schedule and you find another guy and you keep it going.”
Before leaving, Floyd was struggling against a Rays offense that scored six runs in the first two games of the series.
Rays shortstop Ben Zobrist broke out of a 0-for-9 series slump with a two-run first inning home run. Zobrist took Floyd’s 0-1 pitch and drove it to right to score Matt Joyce with one out for a 2-0 lead and support for starter Matt Moore.
“It seems like every time we’ve been on the road I’ve had a lead going into the bottom of the first,” Moore said. “That makes it so much easier for a starting pitcher to kill those nerves or anxiousness going out there … It’s very encouraging seeing that happening in the top of the inning.
After Floyd’s injury the Tampa Bay offense continued to produce. It ended up with 19 hits — the most since June 26, 2011— and a season-high in runs.
Kelly Johnson matched a career-high with four hits while driving home two runs. Longoria also matched a career-best for hits, going 4-for-6 with two runs scored.
“They were locked in. It was like, you made a good pitch and they blooped it or fouled it off and then you made another good pitch and they got another hit,” Santiago said. “It was like it was just their night. It was an offensive day for them and it just sucked for us.”
Facing Moore (5-0) didn’t help things for the White Sox, either.
Moore allowed just three hits, one earned run and matched a season high nine strikeouts in six innings of work. His 1.13 ERA is second-lowest in the majors behind St. Louis right-hander Jake Westbrook (0.98).
“Honestly, that’s one of the better pitchers I’ve ever faced. He moves the ball both sides of the plate, throwing curve balls for strikes,” White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie said. “Sometimes you’re just going to run into that at this level, guys that are just on. He was on tonight. There’s not much we can do.”
Chicago, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, isn’t taking that attitude with its injuries.
Though they probably lost one of their more-experienced starters for a bit, the White Sox see this as an opportunity for Santiago, who was a starter early in spring training and was stretched out later in the bullpen.
“It’s disappointing that guys you would think you’re going to have at a certain time are not going to be there but, again, you keep going,” Ventura said.
Moore had few issues like that.
He became the first Tampa Bay pitcher to win five games in April and his first six outs were strikeouts.
“Five and 0 right now is pretty awesome, there’s no getting around that,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “I remember in spring training there was all this concern about him in camp and he was not very sharp in camp. But as the season has been in progress he’s built on each outing.”
NOTES: Tampa Bay shortstop Yunel Escobar missed his third straight game Saturday and remains day-to-day with right hamstring tightness. “He’s doing better, he’s still not ready to go. I don’t want to press it right now and then have any kind of setback,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said … Tampa Bay left hander David Price will bring along a check for $5,000 from the Rays organization when he visits the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Monday to receive the 2012 Wilbur “Bullet” Rogan award as AL pitcher of the year. “It’s a honor to receive that award and on behalf of the Rays to give them that check,” he said. … Price and Alex Cobb took batting practice Saturday The two are scheduled to pitch in Colorado in an upcoming interleague series. . White Sox INF Jeff Keppinger missed his second straight game with back spasms.