Rays Fall To White Sox In Series Opener

The Tampa Bay Rays (65-91) were defeated by the Chicago White Sox (75-81) by a final score of 7-1 on Monday night. They have now lost seven of their last eight games. Drew Smyly (7-12, 4.88 ERA) took the loss for the Rays and James Shields (6-18, 5.82 ERA) picks up the win for Chicago.

Smyly Takes Loss:

Drew Smyly worked five innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking one. The loss snaps a string of five winning decisions spanning his previous 11 starts.

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Bullpen:

Ryan Garton worked a scoreless sixth inning before handing the ball to Kevin Jepsen to work the seventh. It was his 58th appearance on the season and first since working a scoreless inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 13th.

Jepsen retired a pair of batters before walking Jose Abreu and departing the game in favor of the lefty Enny Romero to face lefty Justin Morneau. The move did not work out as Manager Kevin Cash had hoped as Morneau homered to extend the Sox lead to 5-1. Romero remained in the game in the eighth inning and surrendered a 2-run homer to Carlos Sanchez to push the Sox lead to 7-1.

Offense:

The Rays hit into four double plays and left 10 men on base and finished the game 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. It was just the 23rd time in franchise history that they grounded into four or more double plays in a single game and first since May 27, 2015 against the Seattle Mariners.

They grounded into a franchise record six double plays against the New York Yankees on June 17, 2003. It was the third time they grounded into four double plays against the Chicago White Sox. Remarkably, they did that in back to back games on August 4 and 5, 2001.

Jaff Decker had his first three hit game of his career. His only other multi-hit game of his career came on September 24, 2015 against the Colorado Rockies while he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also stole his first career base.

Mikie Mahtook had a multi-hit game including a double in the eight inning. Since his 0-for-34 skid he is batting .286 (16-for-56).

Kiermaier Hurting:

Kevin Kiermaier was forced out of Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox after being hit in the wrist with a pitch by Eduardo Rodriguez. According to Marc Topkin (Twitter) of the Tampa Bay Times, his hand was still sore and feels that swinging may be difficult. He may be able to return to the lineup Tuesday.

Up Next:

The Rays and White Sox play the second game of their four game series. Alex Cobb (1-1, 6.16 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays and Chris Sale (16-9, 3.19 ERA) will be on the mound for Chicago.

Cobb Rebound:

Last Wednesday he lasted just 1 1/3 innings, the shortest outing of his career, allowing seven runs on nine hits striking out two and walking one.

Sale Looking For Cy?:

Chris Sale will be making his 31st start of the season and second versus the Rays. He leads the majors with six complete games in 2016. His 3.19 ERA (78-ER/214.2-IP) on the year is the sixth best mark in the American League. He is tied with Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians for the AL lead in fWAR (5.2), ranks third in WHIP (1.02), and fourth in opponents OPS against (.638).