White Sox Open Home Season With Win Over Struggling Rays

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Edwin Jackson Strikes Out 13; White Sox Defeat Rays 5-1

The White Sox’ home opener was played in much the same weather conditions that have plagued the Cubs all week in Chicago — chilly, damp weather not suited to baseball. Fortunately for the Sox, the rain held off and the only weather issue was a bit of fog hanging over the Cell.

The fog must have affected the Rays’ bats, because Sox starter Edwin Jackson struck out a career-high 13 in eight outstanding innings, allowing the Rays just four hits and a run, and the White Sox won 5-1, leaving Tampa Bay still winless on the young season at 0-6.

The Sox, meanwhile, moved two games over .500 at 4-2; Alex Rios doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs, and Juan Pierre went 3-for-5. The Sox also ran at will on Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach, stealing four bases (two by Brent Lillibridge and one each by Pierre and Alexei Ramirez). It was a base-stealer’s paradise today; ex-Cub Sam Fuld, now an outfielder for the Rays, stole three bases himself.

The Sox and Rays will continue their series tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m. CDT with John Danks facing James Shields.

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White Sox Designate Milledge For Assignment, Announce Today's Starting Lineup

Outfielder Lastings Milledge, who made the Sox as a backup with a good spring training, is being let go. He was designated for assignment today; his roster replacement will be righthanded reliever Jeff Gray, who was last seen in a major league uniform with the crosstown Cubs early last year.

Today’s Sox starting lineup does not include Adam Dunn, recuperating from an emergency appendectomy. Dunn wanted to play today, but the Sox are being cautious.

The Sox line up this way:

Juan Pierre LF
Gordon Beckham 2B
Alex Rios CF
Paul Konerko 1B
Carlos Quentin DH
Alexei Ramirez SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Brent Morel 3B
Brent Lillibridge RF

Today’s starting pitcher is righthander Edwin Jackson, who is making his second start of the season. The weather, though chilly, looks like it will cooperate; no rain is in the forecast until late afternoon, though there is a dense fog advisory out until 1 pm. Temperatures are expected to remain in the low to mid 40s all day.

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White Sox Open Home Season With Set Against Struggling Rays

After two road series, the White Sox are finally returning home to Chicago to play their first game at the Cell. They'll host the Tampa Bay Rays, who've had a rather dismal start to the 2011 season that's included an injury to star third baseman Evan Longoria, and not a single win thus far.

The Sox have had their own injury problems, of course, as their own slugger Adam Dunn will still be out recovering from his emergency appendectomy. The Sox will have a bit of a challenge in their home opener, as the Rays will be send David Price to the mound. Though Price had a sub-3.00 ERA last year, he's had some trouble against Chicago, owning a 5.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 3 starts. Alex Rios and Paul Konerko have both hit Price particularly well.

On the mound for the Sox will be Edwin Jackson, fresh off his April 2nd victory at Cleveland. All signs are positive for the Sox, as Jackson has handled the Rays particularly well -- sporting a 1.59 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in two starts. The only current Ray who hits Jackson well is Johnny Damon, who is 5 for 16 with a double.

This afternoon's weather is forecast to be overcast, with possible light rain and temperatures in the upper 40s to low 50s. First pitch is at 1:10 P.M. CDT, and the game will be televised on CSN Chicago and Sun Sports.

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