White Sox Blow Three-Run Ninth-Inning Lead, Lose To Rays 9-7

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White Sox Make Two Errors In Ninth; Rays Score Five And WIn First Of Season

The White Sox were in the driver’s seat all the way Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez and Mark Teahen all homered off the Rays’ James Shields and John Danks and Jesse Crain held Tampa Bay to four runs in eight innings.

Then the wheels all fell off in the ninth. Ramirez and Juan Pierre made errors on back-to-back plays and the crushing blow was Dan Johnson’s three-run homer after the Rays had closed to within 7-6 with help from the errors. Only two of the runs off Sox closer Matt Thornton were earned, but of course all of them count, and the Sox had a crushing loss, and the Rays their first win of the season — and they scored more runs in this game (nine) than they had scored combined in the previous six losses (eight).

Former Cub Kyle Farnsworth closed the game for the Rays.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon in a game that will begin at 3:10 p.m. and be televised on WGN.

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John Danks And Sox Try To Keep Rays Winless

John Danks and the Tampa Bay Rays have something in common to start this season: neither has a win. Danks, whose last start against Cleveland ended in a "L," is looking to get his first win of the season as a starter this evening at the Cell. The Rays are just looking for their first win of the season, period. Only two teams remain in the major leagues without a single win, the Rays and the Boston Red Sox.

Meanwhile, Kansas City is tied for first place in the AL Central and Baltimore is alone in first in the AL East. The beginning of the baseball season is always so quirky and fun, isn't it?

Danks has a decent career record against Tampa Bay, going 5-2 in seven starts with a 3.83 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He's managed to hold many of the Rays threats to low averages, including B.J. Upton, who is 2-for-14 against Danks, and Ben Zobrist, who is 0-for-7.

Tampa Bay will be sending James Shields to the mound today. Shields is 2-2 against the Sox across seven starts, with a 5.05 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Both Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios hit Shields reasonably well. Ramirez is 5-for-12 with a home run, while Rios is 8-for-30 with a home run and five RBIs.

This evening's weather is forecast to be mostly cloudy, with temperatures in the upper 40s. First pitch is at 7:10 P.M. CDT, and the game will be televised on WCIU and FS-F HD.

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