Rays plate five in ninth, stun White Sox for first winApr 9, 2011 - 5:35 AM
Dan Johnson blasted a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth, capping a five- run rally the Rays used to grab their first win of the season, a 9-7 decision over the White Sox.
Before Friday, the Rays were 0-6, becoming just the second division champion to start a season with that record since division play began in 1969. They had also tied the 1905 Boston Americans for the worst start by a team that had the league's best record the previous season.
Before Friday, they had scored just eight runs and hadn't led in a single game. They were also the last winless team in baseball after Boston defeated the New York Yankees earlier in the day.
But Friday, Tampa Bay took advantage of two errors to plate five runs against Matt Thornton (0-1) and move in front, and Kyle Farnsworth retired the side in order in the bottom half to secure the victory.
"There's no feeling like it," Johnson said. "It makes everything better. We were just talking about how good the food tastes now. It leaves such a bad taste in your mouth, losing. And everything seems better right now."
Gordon Beckham and Mark Teahen both had three hits, including a homer, for the White Sox, who had won their last two games and had enough offense to grab a third in a row.
They got to Rays starter James Shields for five runs in six-plus innings, starting with Beckham's solo shot in the first. Run-scoring hits by Alex Rios and Paul Konerko in the third staked the White Sox to a 3-0 advantage.
All their runs were necessary to keep Tampa Bay behind, because Chicago starter John Danks allowed four runs in six-plus frames.
Sean Rodriguez's triple plated B.J. Upton in the fourth, and it was a 4-1 game when Teahen hit his homer in the bottom half. After Johnny Damon homered and Rodriguez recorded an RBI bunt single in the Rays' half of the sixth, Ramirez homered to give Chicago a 5-3 lead.
Danks nearly jeopardized the lead in the seventh, which he started with two walks and a single before being pulled. But Jesse Crain entered the bases- loaded jam and largely avoided disaster, giving up only one run, when Damon grounded into a fielder's choice.
Crain then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and the Rays looked like they were headed for a seventh consecutive loss after Teahen hit a two-run single in the bottom half to put Chicago up 7-4.
But Adam Russell (1-0) came in to get the final out of the inning, and Rays pinch-hitter Elliot Johnson began the ninth with a base hit. He moved to second on defensive indifference before scoring on a single to short by Sam Fuld.
Fuld advanced to second when the shortstop Ramirez threw the ball away, and Damon reached on an error by left fielder Juan Pierre. After Upton's single to left pulled the Rays within 7-6, Dan Johnson stepped to the plate.
He jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Thornton and ripped it deep over the right field wall for a 9-7 edge.
"It's a three-run lead and it's inexcusable to give that up in that situation," Thornton said.
Johnson was batting cleanup for a third consecutive game, a lineup position occupied by Manny Ramirez for Tampa bay's first four contests. He will likely bat fourth much more in the future, given that Ramirez retired Friday after learning of "an issue under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," according to an MLB release.
And if he produces like he did Friday, the Rays will take it, 0-6 start or not.
Shields gave up eight hits and walked one...Danks allowed six hits, walked four and struck out five...The four-game series continues Saturday, when the Rays' Wade Davis is set to oppose the White Sox's Philip Humber.
- TAMPA BAY: 9
Apr 8 11:24 PM
- Casey Kotchman flied out to center. None on with two outs and John Jaso due up.
Rays 9, White Sox 7 Top 9, 2 OutsApr 8 11:13 PM
- B.J. Upton single to left scored Sam Fuld. Runners on first and third with one out and Dan Johnson due up.
Rays 6, White Sox 7 Top 9, 1 OutApr 8 11:11 PM
- Adam Russell enters the game for the Rays with a runner on first and two out.
Rays 4, White Sox 7 Bot 8, 2 OutsApr 8 10:56 PM
- Johnny Damon grounded into a fielder's choice, short to second that scored Matt Joyce. Runners on first and third with one out and B.J. Upton due up.
Rays 4, White Sox 5 Top 7, 1 OutApr 8 10:05 PM
- Mark Teahen grounded out short to first to end the inning.
Rays 3, White Sox 5 End 6Apr 8 9:53 PM
- Sean Rodriguez bunt single to first scored B.J. Upton. Runners on first and second with one out and Kelly Shoppach due up.
Rays 3, White Sox 4 Top 6, 1 OutApr 8 9:42 PM
- B.J. Upton walked. Runner on first with one out and Dan Johnson due up.
Rays 2, White Sox 4 Top 6, 1 OutApr 8 9:38 PM
- Mark Teahen one-out, solo Home Run (1) to right. Brent Morel due up.
Rays 1, White Sox 4 Bot 4, 1 OutApr 8 9:15 PM
- Sean Rodriguez triple to right scored B.J. Upton. Runner on third with two outs and Kelly Shoppach due up.
Rays 1, White Sox 3 Top 4, 2 OutsApr 8 9:08 PM
- Paul Konerko single to left scored Alex Rios. Runner on first with one out and Carlos Quentin due up.
Rays 0, White Sox 3 Bot 3, 1 OutApr 8 8:54 PM
- Alex Rios double to left scored Gordon Beckham. Runner on second with one out and Paul Konerko due up.
Rays 0, White Sox 2 Bot 3, 1 OutApr 8 8:52 PM
- Gordon Beckham one-out, solo Home Run (1) to left. Alex Rios due up.
Rays 0, White Sox 1 Bot 1, 1 OutApr 8 8:16 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 1 Out
Apr 8 8:10 PM
- Rays' Kiermaier expected to miss 8-10 weeks with broken hand May 23
- Rays-Marlins Preview May 23
- Ventura: Relievers, media pose threats to Bradley's streak May 23
- Indians-White Sox Preview May 23
- Indians' Joba Chamberlain (chest muscle) on disabled list May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Tigers beat Rays 9-4 but Zimmermann, Cabrera hurt May 22
- Ventura steps up, but Royals fall short, 3-2 May 22
- White Sox beat Royals 3-2 to avoid sweep May 22
- Archer hit hard as Rays fall 9-4 to Tigers May 22
- Signs of progress for Stanton in Marlins' 8-2 loss to Nats May 22
- White Sox beat Royals 3-2 to avoid sweep May 22