Eflin allows 1 run in 7 innings as Rays beat White Sox 5-1 for 5th consecutive win

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Eflin Solid As Rays Win Fifth In A Row
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zach Eflin delivers to the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Zach Eflin allowed one run and six hits in seven innings as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1 on Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive win.

Randy Arozarena and Isaac Paredes homered for the Rays, who moved over .500 at 19-18.

Eflin (2-4) lost the shutout when Paul DeJong homered with two outs in the seventh.

“Really good stuff, really good command,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He was really sharp. He made some big pitches when he had to.”

The right-hander worked out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fifth by getting a flyball from Gavin Sheets on a 3-0 pitch. Eflin also retired Sheets on a grounder with two on and two outs in the seventh.

“I was kind of surprised he swung at it, but I’ll take it any day,” Eflin said of Sheets’ at-bat in the fifth. “Threw a pretty good sinker and he hit a flyball to right that got me out of the jam.”

Eflin earned his first win since April 2. He lost his previous three decisions.

The AL-worst White Sox (8-28) have dropped the first two games of the series to fall 20 games under .500, equaling a season high. Chicago swept a three-game series from the Rays at home April 26-28.

It’s the worst 36-game start in White Sox history.

“One thing this game teaches you is short-term memory,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “Regardless of whether you win or lose, you need to have short-term memory in this game. It’s the only way to get through a full season.”

Arozarena put the Rays up 4-0 on a two-run homer off Michael Soroka (0-4) in the third. The 2023 AL All-Star has three homers in his last five games and has raised his batting average from .143 to .152 during the series with Chicago.

“I think we’re seeing a guy that is starting to feel a little bit better about himself,” Cash said.

Harold Ramírez had an RBI single in a two-run second.

Soroka allowed four runs, three hits and four walks over five innings.

Paredes made it 5-0 on a solo homer off Brad Keller in the sixth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: RHP Ryan Pepiot, hit on the left calf by a 107.5 mph liner off the bat of Mets outfielder Starling Marte on Sunday, is expected to go on the injured list. “We’ll have probably more of an announcement tomorrow, but (it’s) likely,” Cash said. Pepiot had a second CT scan that showed no broken bones. … Tampa Bay closer Pete Fairbanks (nerve-related hand issues) allowed two hits over a scoreless inning in his initial appearance with Triple-A Durham. … 2B Brandon Lowe (right oblique strain) doubled in two at-bats in his first game with Durham.

UP NEXT

White Sox RHP Chris Flexen (1-3, 4.85 ERA) and Rays RHP Aaron Civale (2-2, 6.14) are Wednesday night’s starters. Civale has allowed 18 runs in 13 2/3 innings over his last three starts.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB