The bottom of the batting order got the ball rolling in the third inning after Nick Franklin, who reached base three times, worked a six pitch walk. Mikie Mahtook moved Franklin to second with a liner to center, bringing Rene Rivera to the plate. Rivera put down the first of two well executed sacrifice bunts by the Rays’ hitters, moving up the tandem of runners 90 feet — thus stealing away the double play opportunity from the White Sox. The aggressive play instantly paid dividends when Brandon Guyer and Joey Butler went back-to-back with a pair of RBI singles to give Tampa Bay a two-run advantage.
Chicago answered two innings later by putting up two-runs of their own. Andriese, who sailed through the front four innings of play, allowed a pair of unearned runs in the fifth after he gave a one-out free pass to Carlos Sanchez. Adam Eaton laid down a bunt grounder in front of Rivera, who fielded the play cleanly, yet let loose with a throw that sailed past Jake Elmore at first and into the bullpen. Sanchez scored on the error, and Eaton advanced to third. Alexei Ramirez followed with an RBI sac-fly to center. But the Rays hurler came back to fan the next three batters (including Jose Abreu to end the fourth) before being lifted after allowing a two-out single in the sixth.
Not to be outdone, Butler went station-to-station in the bottom of the fourth, and came home on a Logan Forsythe sac-fly to center, giving Tampa Bay the lead once again.
After losing a one-run advantage the night before, Tampa Bay was unsatisfied with a 3-2 lead. Consequently the team built its largest lead of the night with a three-run rally in the sixth, against John Danks and Daniel Webb. Jake Elmore scored the first run, diving around the tag of catcher Tyler Flowers on Rene Rivera’s grounder to second. The ChiSox requested that the play be reviewed, although it was ultimately upheld.
The South Siders rallied in the seventh against Brandon Gomes, when Jose Abreu hit a two-out, two-run, two-strike homer off the right field foul pole. It wasn’t a bad pitch, and the ball didn’t leak back over the plate. Ranther it was a high fastball that Abreu swatted at and converted into two runs. Dude is a dangerous hitter.
However, Tampa Bay answered, regaining a two-run cushion on a Nick Franklin single in the bottom of the of the frame. They didn’t relinquish the lead.
Steve Geltz and Jake McGee each threw 1-2-3 innings (in the eighth and ninth, respectively), giving the Rays the victory. For McGee, it was his second save in three days.
The New What Next
Chris Archer (7-4, 1.84 ERA) will look to continue his stretch of spectacular pitching when he gets the start opposite of Jeff Samardzija (4-4, 4.93 ERA). Archer has allowed just one run in 23 innings while striking out 38 over his last three starts, resulting in two wins and a no-decision. He is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox. Samardzija will try to get things back on track when he takes the mound, after allowing 15 earned runs on 22 hits over his last 12-1/3 innings pitched. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.
Rays 6/13/15 Starting Lineup
— The Rays collected 14 hits on the night — three from Joey Butler, two from Jake Elmore, Nick Franklin, Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr. They also went 5-14 wRISP (.357 BA).
— Butler has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games and has nine hits in the last five games.
I’m getting more and more confident, said Butler. It’s definitely the best opportunity I’ve had, just playing every day, always being in the lineup. And that helps.
— Mikie Mahtook was optioned to Triple-A Durham after the game. The team corresponded by recalling Curt Casali.
— Andriese collected his first career win, meanwhile Butler and McGee collected a Gatorade bath from Archer: