for this game

Rays plate four in eighth, top White Sox

Aug 24, 2008 - 1:24 AM By Gene Chamberlain PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- First baseman Carlos Pena said the Tampa Bay Rays have adopted the saying, "keep coming, keep coming" during their incredible turnaround season.

The Rays did exactly that again Saturday, as Pena's two-run single capped a four-run, eighth-inning rally to give Tampa a 5-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Chicago starter Javier Vazquez retired the first 17 batters, but after his flirtation with a perfect game and shutout ended in the sixth on Jason Bartlett's double to left and Akinori Iwamura's RBI single, the Rays chased him and batted around in the eighth.

Vazquez (10-11) left after giving up a single to Dioner Navarro, walk to Gabe Gross and base hit to Bartlett. Iwamura followed with a 12-pitch at-bat, slapping away six pitches for fouls after working the count to 3-2, before working a walk off lefthander Matt Thornton to force in a run.

"That's not easy man," Pena said. "You've got to be cold-blooded to be in that situation and actually only focus on seeing the ball and staying in your zone. Needless to say, it's not normal for a human being to maintain the poise in a situation like that, and (Iwamura) did it unbelievably, ended up walking and pushing a run across the plate. I think that was the key at-bat in that rally and the next thing you know we're up two runs."

"A tremendous at-bat," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "As a matter of fact, I think (Iwamura) was 0-for-6 with mostly strikeouts vs. him prior to that at-bat."

Shortstop Orlando Cabrera failed to come up with B.J. Upton's hard grounder for an infield hit after Iwamura's at-bat, and Gross scored to tie the game at 3-3. Pena then lined a two-run single to right field off Thornton to put Tampa Bay ahead 5-3.

"He was a great pitcher with a great fastball and throws really hard, but I knew the situation with the bases loaded and I was trying to get the run in at the time," Iwamura said through an interpreter.

It was the 37th comeback win for Tampa -19 more than they've allowed opponents - and came despite Vazquez's performance and a two-home run effort by Chicago's Jermaine Dye.

The rally made a winner of reliever Grant Balfour (4-2), who threw one scoreless inning after replacing Scott Kazmir in the seventh.

Relievers Chad Bradford, Balfour and Dan Wheeler combined to hold the White Sox hitless over the last three innings, with Wheeler picking up his eighth save. The Rays have taken the first two games of the series.

"The difference in those two games between the (Rays) and White Sox, it was the bullpen," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That's it. Their bullpen hung on and we couldn't the last two days. That's the difference, a big difference, in those two games."

Kazmir allowed solo home runs to Dye in the fourth and sixth and a sacrifice fly to Juan Uribe after Alexei Ramirez had tripled in the fifth, leaving down 3-1 after a six-inning stint that included seven strikeouts and two walks.

The All-Star lefthander allowed all four of Chicago's hits, marking the fourth time in his last five starts he has given up four hits or less.

"I liked both those pitches I threw (to Dye)," Kazmir said. "It's OK, I guess, just giving up the solo shots. I just went back in and went after the strike zone."

Vazquez was charged with four runs and five hits while striking out four and walking one.

"That was one of the toughest games for me in my career, one of the toughest that I've lost," Vazquez said. "Just being ahead like that, and boom, we lost. It was just a tough game to swallow."

The win was Maddon's 206th, pushing him past Larry Rothschild as the franchise's all-time winningest manager.

"It's nice," he deadpanned. "It's a very proud moment for the Maddon family."








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

    BATTERIES: TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR, GRANT BALFOUR (7TH), CHAD BRADFORD (8TH), DAN
    WHEELER (9TH) AND DIONER NAVARRO
    CHA - JAVIER VAZQUEZ, MATT THORNTON (8TH), D.J.
    CARRASCO (8TH) A

    Aug 23 6:59 PM


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    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS PENA SCORED JASON BARTLETT AND AKINORI
    IWAMURA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C PENA ON FIRST, B UPTON ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    CHI WHITE SOX 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C FLOYD (.255, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays 5, White Sox 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:25 PM
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    Rays 5, White Sox 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:25 PM


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    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY B.J. UPTON SCORED GABE GROSS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B UPTON ON FIRST, A IWAMURA ON SECOND, J
    BARTLETT ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    CHI WHITE SOX 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.238, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays 3, White Sox 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:23 PM
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    Rays 3, White Sox 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:23 PM


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    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO AKINORI IWAMURA SCORED DIONER NAVARRO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A IWAMURA ON FIRST, J BARTLETT ON SECOND, G
    GROSS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    CHI WHITE SOX 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.268, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays 2, White Sox 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 23 6:21 PM
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    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JERMAINE DYE (31) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF SCOTT KAZMIR.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1, CHI WHITE SOX 3
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: J THOME (.249, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays 1, White Sox 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 23 5:43 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AKINORI IWAMURA SCORED JASON BARTLETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A IWAMURA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    CHI WHITE SOX 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.266, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays 1, White Sox 2  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 23 5:29 PM
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    Rays 0, White Sox 2  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 23 5:27 PM
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    Rays 0, White Sox 2  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 23 5:20 PM


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    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JUAN URIBE SCORED ALEXEI RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    CHI WHITE SOX 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: T HALL (.283, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 0, White Sox 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 23 5:17 PM
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    Rays 0, White Sox 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 23 5:10 PM
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    Rays 0, White Sox 1  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 23 5:02 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JERMAINE DYE (30) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF SCOTT KAZMIR.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0, CHI WHITE SOX 1
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: J THOME (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 0, White Sox 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 23 4:59 PM