Floyd, White Sox wrap up series vs. Rays on CSN

399102.jpg

Floyd, White Sox wrap up series vs. Rays on CSN

Sunday, April 10, 2011
Posted: 10:32 a.m.

Associated Press

After another feeble offensive performance, frustration might be building for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays look to bounce back from their latest defeat and salvage a split of their four-game set with the Chicago White Sox on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Tampa Bay (1-7) rallied to beat Chicago 9-7 on Friday, hours after slugger Manny Ramirez retired rather than serve a second drug suspension, but had just six hits in a 4-2 loss Saturday.

The reigning AL East champions are batting .167 on the season, and have totaled 10 runs in their losses. At least one Tampa Bay player might have taken a bit of his frustration out late in Saturday's contest.

Third baseman Felipe Lopez took exception to an inside pitch from White Sox rookie Chris Sale in the ninth, then flipped his bat in the left-hander's direction after hitting a solo home run. When Lopez crossed home plate, he and Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski jawed at each other.

"That's something you don't want to see," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Lopez throwing the bat.

Ben Zobrist drove in a run Saturday for the Rays, who mustered four hits and one run in six innings off Chicago fifth starter Philip Humber.

"It's all about playing good baseball," Maddon said. "We're just not hitting. That's why we're in such a dilemma right now."

Veteran Johnny Damon had a hit for the second straight game but is batting .107 with eight strikeouts for his new team. Damon, however, is 10 for 15 with a double and home run against scheduled White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (0-0, 5.14 ERA).

Though Damon has hit the right-hander well, Floyd is 2-1 with a 3.43 lifetime ERA versus Tampa Bay, going seven innings each time.

The White Sox (5-3) hope Floyd pitches the way he finished his first outing of the season. After giving up four runs the first two innings Tuesday, the right-hander threw five scoreless in a 7-6, 12-inning loss at Kansas City.

"I was able to bounce back, make it a somewhat respectable outing," Floyd told the White Sox's official website.

The Rays counter with Jeff Niemann (0-1, 7.50), who also looks for a complete effort after an inconsistent 2011 debut. He gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings of a 5-3 home loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

"A positive thing is I went out there and made it out to the seventh," Niemman told the Rays' official website. "I feel like I made some good adjustments and it's some good stuff to build off."

The right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.55 ERA versus Chicago, but has allowed just three runs and struck out 12 in 16 innings to win his last two starts against the White Sox.

Pierzynski, 5 for 11 against Niemann, went 2 for 3 with two RBIs on Saturday.

Teammate Paul Konerko is 2 for 12 versus Niemann, but is batting .375 and has hit safely in all eight games this season. Konerko had driven in a run in each game this season before failing to do so Saturday.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Preview: Carlos Rodon makes season debut as White Sox face Yankees on CSN+

Preview: Carlos Rodon makes season debut as White Sox face Yankees on CSN+

Carlos Rodon makes his season debut as the White Sox take on the New York Yankees tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN Plus and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (5-7, 5.74 ERA)

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

Confident Jose Quintana gets 'back to who he's always been'

Confident Jose Quintana gets 'back to who he's always been'

The White Sox said all along they were confident Jose Quintana would rebound and now that he has no seems the least bit surprised.

Quintana provided yet another round of proof that he’s far removed from those May woes when he silenced the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. While the left-hander earned a no decision, he was rewarded when the White Sox rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field. Quintana finished June with a 1.78 ERA.

“We have a very good relationship, very good communication,” teammate Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “When (Quintana) was passing through that, the first two months, I let him know, just keep your confidence, don’t hesitate, do your job, keep working hard because we have confidence in you. Now he’s just showing us what he’s capable of doing and doing what he’s been doing his whole career. We’re glad he’s the same Jose Quintana he’s been the last couple of years.”

Quintana has gone from a period where many of his mistakes got hit to a spot where he’s been borderline untouchable. He limited the second-best offense in the American League to two hits and four walks in 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday. With good fastball command and a sharp curve, Quintana had New York hitters out of whack.

This is a much different pitcher than the one who was tagged by the Boston Red Sox on May 30, an outing after which he said he was embarrassed. Since losing to Boston, Quintana has lowered his ERA from 5.30 to 4.37. In that span, Quintana has allowed 21 hits and six earned runs with 12 walks and 30 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.

“Sometime bad games are going to happen,” Quintana said. “But when it happens, I go check the video to see if I’m doing something wrong and try to make adjustments. But I feel pretty good and I have my confidence high and for me I turn the page and focus on the next one.”

[VIVID SEATS: Get your White Sox tickets here]

The 2016 All-Star thrived in the few instances when he got into trouble on Tuesday.

He struck out Tyler Austin with two men in scoring position to end the fourth inning and erased a leadoff walk in the fifth with an Austin Romine double play. After Quintana surrendered a two-out double to Judge in the sixth inning, he got Sanchez to pop out to strand the tying run.

Quintana only threw strikes on 55 of 101 pitches on Tuesday. But, of those 55, 10 were swings and misses.

“It's just been him commanding the zone, attacking,” manager Rick Renteria said. “A lot more strikes. He still had some at-bats today where he got to 3-2, but then he'd execute, he'd finish and make a pitch that induced a very weak fly ball or groundballs. That's who he is, I mean you all have seen him like this before. For us it's just seeing him get back to who he's always been.”