LIVE: Quentin homers, Sox trail 4-1

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LIVE: Quentin homers, Sox trail 4-1

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Posted: 11:24 a.m.
Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays have been pitching well over the past week. Facing the slumping lineup of the Chicago White Sox hasn't hurt.

Wade Davis will try to extend the Rays' run of stellar starting pitching and help Tampa Bay reach the .500 mark Wednesday night when it continues its four-game home set against Chicago.

Tampa Bay (8-9) has won seven of eight and the first two of this series, including a 2-1 victory Tuesday.

One night after David Price gave up four hits in eight innings of a 5-0 win, James Shields threw a complete game, allowing four hits and striking out nine. Ben Zobrist scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth on Sean Rodriguez's triple.

"It was really fun to watch," manager Joe Maddon said of Shields. "He kept his tempo. He kept his pace. The quality of the locations was severe. On the money all night long. I could tell he was on right from jump street."

The Rays have a 2.10 ERA during their eight-game surge to the brink of the .500 mark. So far, Chicago's lineup is proving no match for Tampa Bay's arms.

Losers of six straight, the White Sox (7-10) have totaled five runs over their last four games. They're batting .195 in their last eight - a far cry from their .307 average during a 6-3 start.

Designated hitter Adam Dunn went 0 for 4 on Tuesday, and is 2 for 23 since missing six games due to an emergency appendectomy. Manager Ozzie Guillen said he might drop Dunn down in the lineup from his current third spot.

He's far from the only White Sox hitter struggling. Paul Konerko is 4 for 28 over his last seven games while Gordon Beckham is 1 for 29 in his last eight.

"It's a combination of both," Guillen said. "Shields pitched very well and we're not swinging the bat well. We're struggling right now at the plate, big time."

Davis (1-2, 3.26 ERA) will look to extend Chicago's struggles as he aims for his third consecutive strong outing.

The right-hander yielded one run and four hits in seven innings of a 5-2 win over Minnesota on Friday and went six innings against the White Sox on April 9, allowing two runs in a 4-2 defeat.

Phil Humber (1-1, 3.46), who is scheduled to pitch Wednesday for Chicago, opposed Davis in that start - his first with the White Sox in place of the injured Jake Peavy. He gave up one run in six innings to earn the victory.

The right-hander had more troubles in his last start, allowing four runs - two earned - and six hits in five innings of a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

Rays designated hitter Johnny Damon (bruised left ring finger tip) and first baseman Dan Johnson (sore left forearm-wrist) both missed Tuesday's game, and are day to day.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox look to win sixth straight game on CSN

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox look to win sixth straight game on CSN

The White Sox take on the Kansas City Royals on Monday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (13-11, 3.21 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (8-19, 4.02 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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Todd Frazier, Miguel Gonzalez propel White Sox past Rays

Todd Frazier, Miguel Gonzalez propel White Sox past Rays

Todd Frazier reached the 40-home run plateau on Wednesday night and now his eyes are trained on 100 RBIs.

Frazier’s seventh-inning solo home run not only extended his hitting streak to 12 games, it provided the game’s only offense in a 1-0 White Sox victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in front of 12,976 at U.S. Cellular Field. Frazier became only the seventh player in franchise history to hit 40 homers in a season with his 394-foot drive off Rays pitcher Eddie Gamboa. The blast offered Miguel Gonzalez and David Robertson just enough support as they combined on a three-hit shutout. Robertson recorded his 37th save in 44 tries.

“It’s a big deal any time a guy rounds off that number,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s always a big deal for you. He’s been wanting to get there for a while. I don’t know if you guys know, but he’s been talking about it for a while. I know I’ve heard it a lot. He’s been aiming for that. He wants to get 40 and 100 and especially if it counts like it did tonight and gets a guy a win.”

Frazier entered the game hitting .305/.374/.568 with six homers and 14 RBIs in September, easily his best month of the season. His homer came on a cold, windy night in which offense was at a premium.

The game was delayed for 21 minutes by rain, which continued through the first inning. The rains came again in the bottom of the third inning and delayed the contest for another 76 minutes.

Tampa’s third pitcher of the night, Gamboa’s 76-mph knuckleball caught too much of the plate and Frazier planted it about eight rows beyond the left-field bullpen with two outs in the seventh.

“Not many people have hit 40 home runs in a year so it’s a good feat to have,” Frazier said.

“It’s a great feat to have. I had a bunch of people text me ‘It’s coming. Today is the day.’ It wasn’t that much pressure. It was just a matter of knowing that it’s there and I’m glad to get it over with and now it’s on to another goal of mine.”

Frazier has never driven in 100 runs in a season. His 98 RBIs this season are nine more than his previous career high of 89 that he set in 2015.

Gonzalez hadn’t pitched into the ninth inning since he threw a four-hit shutout on Sept. 3, 2014. To get there he had to stay loose and sharp throughout the second delay of the night. Gonzalez threw twice during the delay, a total of 25 pitches in the indoor cage, and stretched to stay loose.

But being his final start, Gonzalez wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. He returned after the delay and was remarkable. He had stretches where he retired eight in a row in the middle and nine straight into the ninth before he yielded a one-out single to Logan Forsythe.

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He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out five. Gonzalez threw strikes on 71 of 102 pitches.

Robertson took over and needed only one pitch to record the save as Kevin Kiermaier grounded into a game-ending double play.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been out there for the ninth inning,” Gonzalez said. “It took me two years to get there, but they were swinging early. I made some good pitches early on. Got some quick outs, that’s what you got me to the ninth inning.

“Staying loose was really the most important thing for it.

“I was mentally prepared. Obviously you can’t get away with it. It was my last start. I was going out no matter what and didn’t give in and the results were there.”