Posted September 27, 2012 on AP on Fox
Seattle-mariners-tampa-bay
The Chicago White Sox aren't panicking despite falling out of first place in the AL Central, but facing a streaking Tampa Bay Rays club may not be the best way to regroup. The slumping White Sox open a four-game series Thursday night against the streaking Rays, who are trying to win eight straight for the first time in eight years. Chicago fell into second place in the Central for the first time since July 23 following a 6-4 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday, dropping the final two games in the three-game set. The White Sox (82-73), who are now one game behind Detroit with seven games remaining, have lost seven of eight. They issued a season-high 12 walks Wednesday and went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Chicago has averaged 2.5 runs and hit .226 the last eight games. "You're talking about a game lead, two-game, everything is so fragile. You talk about the momentum swings that can happen. This is one of them, the wrong way,'' Paul Konerko said. "It doesn't mean in two days it doesn't swing the other way." Konerko's slump hasn't helped. After going 0 for 4 Wednesday, his season average dropped to .299 - the first time it has been below .300 this year. He's 8 for 44 (.182) over the last 12 games. Things don't get any easier for Konerko and the White Sox. Tampa Bay (85-70) matched its longest winning streak of the season with a seventh consecutive victory Wednesday, defeating Boston 4-2 to continue its late playoff push. Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco homered during a three-run fifth and Alex Cobb gave up three hits in five innings. The Rays are three games behind Oakland for the second AL wild card and must also overtake the Los Angeles Angels, but manager Joe Maddon is reminded of last year's late run and win on the final day of the regular season that propelled them into the playoffs. "I want it to be exactly like last year,'' Maddon said. "It's starting to look a lot like Christmas." Tampa Bay, which has outscored opponents 55-17 during the winning streak, appears to have the edge in the pitching matchup as the Rays look to win eight in a row for the first time since a club-record 12-game run June 9-22, 2004. James Shields (15-9, 3.65 ERA), who is 7-2 with a 2.04 ERA in his last 10 starts, takes the mound. He went seven scoreless innings in a 12-1 win over Toronto last Friday, fanning nine to reach 200 strikeouts for a second straight season. "I've worked hard over the last couple years to get my game back in action," Shields told the Rays' official website. "To be able to throw 200 innings and 200 strikeouts is definitely a goal in mind, and I'm proud to get there this year again." The right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.95 ERA in 10 starts against the White Sox, including a 7-2 loss May 29 after giving up six runs and 10 hits over six innings. The White Sox counter with Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.40), who is 4-7 with a 4.20 ERA since the All-Star break - and all four wins have come against last-place Minnesota. He allowed five runs and eight hits over five innings of a 6-2 loss to the Angels last Friday. "Maybe when this is over you'll look back on it and say 'this is nice,' but I need to find a way to win and get this team into the playoffs," the oft-injured right-hander said after his first 200-inning season since 2007. Peavy is facing the Rays for the first time since 2010. He is 2-1 with a 6.48 ERA over three career starts against them. The White Sox swept a three-game series against the Rays on the road in May.
1 Comment:
  • hey...looking to see if anyone has any opinions about Coop's coaching the pitching team. Think he'll stay on next year?
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM

Announcer named biggest MLB homer

The Wall Street Journal did a recent study of which MLB announcers root the hardest on-air for the home team and the identity of the man in the #1 spot should come as no surprise. 

Rays rookies dress like girls and sing ‘Call Me Maybe’ for hazing (Video)

The Rays veterans may end up taking the cake this season for most humiliating form of rookie hazing. During their recent road trip to Boston, the Rays rookies were forced to dress up in leotards and wigs and put on a performance of the popular pop song “Call Me Maybe” in front of the Green Monster at Fenway. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the gentleman you...

Rays Rookies Forced to Don Leotards and Wigs While Singing “Call Me Maybe”

David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays was kind enough to capture video of the Rays rookies getting playfully hazed. The rookies were forced to dress up in wigs, leotards and sing “Call Me Maybe” on the warning track. The laughs from the rest of the Rays players make the video just that much better. You have to give it to the rookies as it definitely looks like they gave it their...

White Sox drop from first place

The slumping Chicago White Sox fell out of the AL Central lead for the first time in two months, walking 12 batters and losing to the Cleveland Indians, 6-4, Wednesday night. Chicago, which has lost seven of eight, had been in sole possession or tied at the top every day since July 24. But Detroit moved ahead by a game, beating Kansas City, 5-4, with a week left in the regular season...

Rays make push toward postseason

As the Tampa Bay Rays continue to make a push toward the postseason, the Chicago White Sox try to prevent their playoff hopes from slipping further away. The visiting Rays look to extend their season-high winning streak to nine games when they continue their four-game set with the reeling White Sox on Friday night. Evan Longoria hit a tiebreaking home run in the ninth and three...

Rays Ruin Fenway Park's Centennial Send-Off, Look Poised to Rev Up 'Time Machine' for Another Improbable Run (Video)

The Tampa Bay Rays just will not quit. Last year around this time, they were closing the gap on the Red Sox in the wild card standings and beginning to put the pressure on. Now, the Red Sox aren't their target, but they're turning up the heat just the same. Tampa Bay won again on Wednesday night, spoiling what should have been a night to celebrate Fenway Park and all of its...

Price fans 13 as Rays beat Red Sox

David Price struck out a season-high 13 and Jeff Keppinger hit a three-run homer as Tampa Bay beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Tuesday night, extending the Rays' winning streak to six and keeping their playoff hopes alive. Tampa Bay entered the day three games behind Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot and has only eight games remaining, making a loss to the struggling...

Price strikes out 13 in Rays' 5-2 win at Boston

David Price struck out a season-high 13 and Jeff Keppinger hit a three-run homer as Tampa Bay beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Tuesday night, extending the Rays' winning streak to six and keeping their playoff hopes alive. Tampa Bay entered the day three games behind Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot and has only eight games remaining, making a loss to the struggling...

Video: Rays fans bring in mannequin heads at Fenway Park

Your browser does not support iframes. The Tampa Bay Rays knocked off the Boston Red Sox, 5-2, at Fenway Park on Tuesday night to stay within three games back of the American League Wild Card. It's not likely the Rays will overcome the deficit considering there's only eight games to go, but the displaced Rays fans in the video clip above sure hope they do. There are many...

Guillen brushes off critical comments from Bell

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is brushing off criticism from reliever Heath Bell. Speaking on Tuesday about the team's latest ordeal, Guillen said Bell is entitled to his opinion. But the manager added that he has received about 30 supportive messages from current players and those he managed with the Chicago White Sox from 2004-2011. Guillen indicated that Bell has not fully...

David Price Strikes Out 13, Adds Another Gem to His Cy Young Resume

Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox. BOSTON –– There's a reason David Price is vying for a Cy Young. Amid a last-second playoff push, the Rays pitcher absolutely dominated the Red Sox on Tuesday en route to handing them...

Rays sweep two in Boston, keep pace in wild-card race

BOSTON -- Just like last year, the Tampa Bay Rays have a tough road ahead if they are going to make the playoffs. They made it last year on the final night of the season. Can they do it again? "I want it to be exactly like last year," manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday night after the Rays' 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox bolstered Tampa Bay's hopes in the chase...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.