LIVE: White Sox leading Rays 3-0

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LIVE: White Sox leading Rays 3-0

Thursday, April 7, 2011Posted: 9:20 AM

Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays keep adding to the worst start in franchise history, but insist they're not overly concerned.

Given their recent matchups when facing Edwin Jackson, the Rays might have a difficult time earning their first win of the season and spoiling the Chicago White Sox's home opener Thursday.

Tampa Bay has batted a miserable .136 and been outscored 22-7 during its 0-5 start. The Rays haven't managed more than five hits in any game and have been held to one run in four contests.

One of those lowly performances was Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Angels. B.J. Upton hit his second homer in as many games, and manager Joe Maddon held Manny Ramirez out of the lineup after he started the season 1 for 16.

"How many games have we've played? We've got plenty of time," said Ramirez, who will miss Thursday's contest against his former team for personal reasons.

Without Ramirez, the Rays are hoping to bounce back at U.S. Cellular Field, where they had a combined 22 runs and 24 hits while winning the final two of a three-game series last April.

Tampa Bay, though, is scheduled to face Jackson (1-0, 3.00 ERA), who became the third pitcher to no-hit the Rays in less than a year on June 25 while with Arizona. The right-hander, who played for Tampa Bay from 2006-08, held on for a 1-0 victory despite walking eight batters and throwing 149 pitches - the most in a nine-inning game in five seasons.

In his only other previous matchup against Tampa Bay in 2009, Jackson allowed three runs and six hits over eight innings in a 5-3 win for Detroit.

Jackson enters this game after yielding three runs and striking out seven in an 8-3 win at Cleveland on Saturday. The White Sox (3-2) seemed to give him plenty of support after batting .314 and scoring 40 runs in their first five games.

They had 18 hits during Wednesday's 10-7 win in 12 innings in Kansas City after slugger Adam Dunn underwent an emergency appendectomy Tuesday night. The designated hitter, who homered in his White Sox debut, is expected to miss at least five games.

Carlos Quentin had a go-ahead two-out double in the ninth inning before the Royals tied it, then hit another double to open the 12th. Quentin also had his second home run of the season during a four-hit afternoon.

The White Sox might not need Quentin's or Dunn's help against David Price (0-1, 5.14), who is 0-3 with a 5.00 ERA in three career matchups with Chicago. The left-hander struck out seven in Friday's season opener against Baltimore, but allowed four runs over seven innings in a 4-1 defeat.

"I felt good. But when you're going against another team's No. 1 and give up four runs, you're going to lose," said Price, who was 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA and finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting in 2010. "I've got to get better."

After losing six of eight matchups with the White Sox in 2009, the Rays claimed last season's series by a 4-3 margin.

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

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Here are some of Monday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Preview: Cubs look to bounce back vs. Giants tonight on CSN

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

Cubs can't complete another miracle comeback against Giants bullpen

Should Blackhawks' next assistant coach be Joel Quenneville's choice?

How Bears are using veteran videos to school rookies on NFL way

Luis Robert the latest high-end acquisition for White Sox

For Joe Maddon, Cubs winning World Series came down to Giant comeback in SF and avoiding Johnny Cueto in elimination game

Carlos Rodon 'getting closer' but still without time frame for return

Have the Cubs found their new leadoff hitter in Ben Zobrist?

MMQB's Peter King's thoughts on Trubisky, Howard, White and the Bears offense

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

PHOENIX -- The red-hot White Sox ran into Zack Greinke on Monday night.

He cooled them off in a hurry.

Greinke struck out 12 hitters and Daniel Descalso blasted a three-run home run off Miguel Gonzalez as the Arizona Diamondbacks sent the White Sox to a 5-1 loss in front of 18,333 at Chase Field. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the White Sox, who had scored 24 runs in their final two games against the Seattle Mariners.

“(Greinke) keeps the ball down out of the zone a lot,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s kind of enticing. He keeps the ball in the hitter’s area and it ends up falling out. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to try to get him up. Our approach was to try to make him throw a lot of strikes. He ended up hammering the strike zone early and then finally he just came into a groove.”

Descalso’s three-run shot off Gonzalez was one of two pitches the White Sox right-hander would have liked back. After Gonzalez walked Chris Owings with two outs in the fourth inning, his only free pass of the night, he left the curveball over the middle and Descalso deposited it in the right-center field stands to break a scoreless tie.

He also left a pitch up to Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth inning and the All-Star first baseman ripped it for a solo shot.

But overall Gonzalez rebounded from his previous two starts when he walked nine batters. He was sharp for three innings as he faced one over the minimum. He just missed to Owings in the fourth, which brought up Descalso.

Gonzalez allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in five innings.

“You see what happens when you walk guys,” Gonzalez said. “That wasn’t in a good situation to walk the guy. You have to keep grinding, keep making my pitches. Really two pitches were the ones that hurt me tonight. A lot of positives. Nothing to worry about. Keep working hard and things are going to go my way.

“Sometimes things don’t go your way. Those two pitches, if I take those back, you never know. It’s a different ballgame.”

Not only did Greinke strike out a dozen hitters, he limited the White Sox to four hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez had two hits, the first coming after Greinke opened the game by retiring seven straight batters. Leury Garcia homered off Greinke with one out in the fifth inning to break up his bid for a shutout.

It was quite the turnaround from when the White Sox bashed Yovani Gallardo and Chris Heston on consecutive days in Seattle. The White Sox scored a combined nine first-inning runs in winning three of four against the Mariners.