for this game

Rays, White Sox meet in battle of first place teams

May 29, 2008 - 1:23 PM Chicago White Sox (29-23) at Tampa Bay (32-21) 7:10 p.m. EDT

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Two of the biggest surprises in the American League meet Thursday when the Tampa Bay Rays host the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a four-game series.

The White Sox suffered through their worst season in over a decade in 2007, winning just 72 games after winning the World Series in 2005 and piling up 90 victories in 2006. A stagnant offense that ranked last in the AL in average and on-base percentage coupled with an under-performing staff that finished 25th in the majors with a 4.77 ERA contributed to the poor results.

While Chicago still sits near the bottom in team batting, the pitching staff has been resurgent - ranking second in the majors with a 3.43 team ERA. The White Sox recently completed a stretch of 13 games in which the staff held the opposition to three runs or less.

One of the reasons for the success of the staff has been the maturation of lefthander John Danks (3-4, 3.00 ERA). The 23-year-old struggled through his 2007 rookie campaign, going 6-13 with a 5.50 ERA while allowing 28 home runs in 139 innings.

This season has been a different story, as Danks has allowed just four homers in 57 frames and has struck out 42 batters while yielding only 17 walks.

The Rays were even worse than Chicago in 2007, finishing last in the majors at 66-96 with a pitching staff that ranked last with a 5.53 ERA.

Tampa Bay has scored the biggest turnaround in the majors thus far in 2008 and will enter Thursday's contest with the best record in the AL after besting the Texas Rangers, 5-3, on Wednesday. The Rays pitchers have also been a key to the new found success, ranking eighth in the majors with a 3.76 team ERA.

Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.47) will get the start for Tampa Bay in the series opener. Like Danks, the 24-year-old Jackson has become more consistent this season and has allowed a total of four runs over his last four starts.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 1 0 5 11 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHA - JOHN DANKS, MATT THORNTON (7TH), OCTAVIO DOTEL (8TH), BOONE
    LOGAN (9TH) AND A.J. PIERZYNSKI
    TAM - EDWIN JACKSON, JASON HAMMEL (7TH) AND DIONER
    NAVARRO

    HOME

    May 29 9:56 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY PAUL KONERKO (6) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF JASON HAMMEL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 5, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: J CREDE (.272, 1-FOR-2, BB, HR, RBI)

    White Sox 5, Rays 1  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 29 9:27 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ORLANDO CABRERA SCORED NICK SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 4
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: A PIERZYNSKI (.285, 0-FOR-3)

    White Sox 4, Rays 1  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 29 9:03 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOE CREDE (9) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF EDWIN JACKSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 3, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: N SWISHER (.203, 0-FOR-2)

    White Sox 3, Rays 1  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 29 8:58 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARL CRAWFORD SCORED WILLY AYBAR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRAWFORD ON FIRST, A IWAMURA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.305, 0-FOR-1)

    White Sox 2, Rays 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 29 8:07 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JIM THOME SCORED CARLOS QUENTIN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J THOME ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2
    TAMPA BAY 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: P KONERKO (.211, 1-FOR-1)

    White Sox 2, Rays 0  Top 3, 0 OutsMay 29 7:55 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS QUENTIN SCORED ORLANDO CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C QUENTIN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: J DYE (.287, 0-FOR-1)

    White Sox 1, Rays 0  Top 3, 0 OutsMay 29 7:52 PM