White Sox
Rays
3 - 4 Final/10
  for this game

Gross powers Rays past White Sox

Jun 1, 2008 - 11:02 PM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Another day. Yet another walk-off win by the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays thanks to another unlikely hero.

Gabe Gross lined a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 10th inning off Matt Thornton on Sunday, lifting the Rays past the Chicago White Sox, 4-3, at Tropicana Field.

It was the sixth walk-off victory for the Rays (35-22), who stayed atop the American League East for a franchise-record eighth consecutive day.

The Rays won their seventh consecutive home series and improved to 20-3 in their last 23 home games. They also have won 10 of their last 12 series overall.

"We're getting to the point now where we're not satisfied with yesterday's win," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Everybody's contributing. It's a whole team effort right now.

"I think every night we go out there is a good barometer (of the team). I like we're approaching each game and we want to win."

Gross got a rare start in right field and entered the game 1-for-9 with seven strikeouts against left-handers. However, his fifth-inning, two-run triple against White Sox southpaw starter Mark Buehrle pulled the Rays even at 3-3.

In the 10th, Gross pulled an 0-2 pitch from the lefthanded Thornton (1-1) over the wall in right. It was his third home run of the season and the first of his career against a lefty.

"I've never really thought about hitting a walk-off, but if I had, it wouldn't have lived up to this," Gross said. "When I hit it, I knew I had hit it really good. I made the bad mistake of tossing the helmet. I guess I lot of guys do it. Keep that sucker on."

In the top of the 10th, Jim Thome led off with a double against J.P. Howell (4-0) and pinch runner Pablo Ozuna went to third on Paul Konerko's groundout. But Howell kept the runner stranded at third by retiring Joe Crede and Nick Swisher.

"The way J.P. got out of that inning and then Gabe, who has not gotten any chances against lefties this year," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It's very exciting. J.P. and Gabe are co-bus drivers today."

Alexei Ramirez's two-run double in the second gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead, but the Rays cut the deficit in half in the fourth on Carlos Pena's RBI single.

In the fifth, the White Sox led off the inning with three consecutive hits - Brian Anderson's double and singles by Orlando Cabrera and A.J. Pierzynski - but managed only one run. Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine survived the inning by retiring Jermaine Dye, Thome and Konerko to keep the deficit at 3-1.

Tampa Bay then pulled even in the bottom half of the fifth as Gross' triple scored Jonny Gomes and Shawn Riggans, who led off the inning with a single and double, respectively.

Sonnanstine, who had lost his last two decisions, allowed 10 hits but only three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three with no walks.

"Kind of the old bending but not breaking thing," Sonnanstine said. "I'm just missing over the plate. I need to sharpen up those corners and if I miss, I miss off the plate."

Buehrle was 6-2 in his career against the Rays, but did not figure in on the decision. He allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings with five strikeouts and two walks.

It was the third consecutive loss for Chicago, which left 10 men on base and fell to 1-8 in its last nine games on artificial turf.

"It's a little bit of everything," Konerko said. "It's good pitching, bad decision-making. Sometimes that's just baseball. It's a combination of everything."

Despite losing three of four at Tampa Bay, the White Sox remained atop the AL Central.

Chicago (30-26) still holds a one-game lead over Minnesota (29-27) but its manager was not happy with the way they finished the road trip.

"Be ready, because I expect moving Tuesday," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I expect (general manager) Kenny (Williams) to do something Tuesday and if we don't do anything Tuesday, there's going to be a lot of changes in the lineup. That's all I have to say about this offense.

"I'm sick and tired of watching this for a year and a half. I'm not protecting anyone any more. They can't get it done, (then) Kenny should find someone to get it done. That's it."






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    White Sox 3, Rays 4  Final/10Jun 2 12:05 AM


  • AL
    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 3 13 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 4 8 0 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: CHA

    Jun 1 4:23 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GABE GROSS (3) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    10TH OFF MATT THORNTON.
    FINAL SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4, CHI WHITE SOX 3

    White Sox 3, Rays 4  Bot 10, 0 OutsJun 1 4:23 PM
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    White Sox 3, Rays 3  Top 10, 0 OutsJun 1 4:09 PM
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    White Sox 3, Rays 3  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 1 3:56 PM
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    White Sox 3, Rays 3  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 1 3:21 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY GABE GROSS SCORED JONNY GOMES AND SHAWN RIGGANS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G GROSS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 3
    TAMPA BAY 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.274, 0-FOR-2)

    White Sox 3, Rays 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 1 2:54 PM
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    White Sox 3, Rays 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 1 2:48 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ORLANDO CABRERA SCORED BRIAN ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O CABRERA ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: A PIERZYNSKI (.287, 2-FOR-2)

    White Sox 3, Rays 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJun 1 2:42 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS PENA SCORED B.J. UPTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.245, 0-FOR-1)

    White Sox 2, Rays 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 1 2:36 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEXEI RAMIREZ SCORED PAUL KONERKO AND NICK
    SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A RAMIREZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 2
    TAMPA BAY 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: B ANDERSON (.221, 1 HR, 9 RBI)

    White Sox 2, Rays 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 1 2:03 PM