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Chi. White Sox (30-23) «0020020105111
Tampa Bay (32-22)001000000171

Sizzling White Sox cool down Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- While the Tampa Bay Rays have been the hottest team in baseball, the Chicago White Sox are on a roll of their own.

The AL Central leaders won the first-ever game at Tropicana Field between teams in sole possession of first place in their divisions Thursday night, cooling off the AL East-leading Rays 5-1 before a crowd of 12,636.

"I didn't look at it any different than any other game. But deep down you know that they're winning a tough East and we're winning a tough Central, and this is a series where we feel like we can really make a statement," White Sox pitcher John Danks said.

"This team doesn't lose very much here at home, and we feel like if we can come in here and hopefully sweep this series, we'll be sitting pretty headed into June."

Danks (4-4) allowed one run and six hits in six innings to beat Edwin Jackson (3-4) for the second time this season. He pitched seven scoreless innings to beat the right-hander 6-0 on April 20, a loss that left Tampa Bay in last place at 8-11.

The Rays have gone 24-11 since then and entered Thursday tied with the Chicago Cubs for the best record in the major leagues. They've won nine of their past 11 series, including six straight at home since the White Sox won two of three games from them here six weeks ago.

"I feel proud of them," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who played 63 games for the Rays in 2000, when Tampa Bay lost 92 games.

"They're doing a tremendous job. They have unbelievable talent, they know what they're doing. They're going in the right direction."

Joe Crede and Paul Konerko homered and Carlos Quentin, Jim Thome and Orlando Cabrera also drove in runs for the White Sox, who are making noise themselves with 12 wins in their last 15 games. Danks walked one and struck out eight to improve to 3-0 lifetime against the Rays.

"He pitched well," Guillen said. "He got himself in trouble a couple of times ... but he came out of it."

Crede hit his ninth home run, a solo shot off Jackson, in the sixth inning. Konerko hit his first home run since April 27 -- a towering drive that bounced off one of the catwalks that support the roof in the domed stadium -- leading off the eighth against Jason Hammel.

Ten of Chicago's 11 hits were off Jackson, including RBI doubles by Thome and Cabrera. Quentin's run-scoring single gave him 27 RBI in May, and 48 overall.

"It was a battle all day," Jackson said. "They're a good hitting team."

Carl Crawford had an RBI single in the third for Tampa Bay, which earlier in the day learned it will be without closer Troy Percival for at least two weeks. The 38-year-old was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.

The Rays had plenty of other chances, but were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position against Danks and relievers Matt Thornton and Octavio Dotel.

"We had opportunities to keep that game where we wanted. We just couldn't get the run," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Danks has pitched well against us both times we've seen him. He's pitching with a lot of confidence."

Boone Logan finished up with a scoreless ninth for Chicago, extending a stretch in which the White Sox bullpen has not allowed an earned run to 27 innings over its past nine games.

Notes

  • Since moving to third in the White Sox batting order 15 games ago, Quentin has 19 RBI.
  • Rays OF Rocco Baldelli (mitochondrial disorder), who has played in only 127 games over the past four seasons because of an assortment of injuries, went 1-for-5 as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game -- his first game action since going on the 60-day DL on March 28.
  • The White Sox reinstated INF Danny Richar (fractured left rib) from the 15-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A Charlotte.
  • The Rays activated INF Willy Aybar (left hamstring) from the DL. He went 1-for-4 as the designated hitter and scored Tampa Bay's only run.
  • After the game, the Rays optioned INF Ben Zobrist to Triple-A Durham and purchased the contract of RHP Grant Balfour from the minor league affiliate.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Carlos Quentin homers in the White Sox's 12th win in their past 15 games.  (AP)
Carlos Quentin homers in the White Sox's 12th win in their past 15 games. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Danks
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 8
Chicago

P. Konerko
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Chicago White Sox
Orlando Cabrera, SS5121002 .245
A.J. Pierzynski, C5000032 .282
Carlos Quentin, LF5121000 .299
Jermaine Dye, RF4010012 .288
Jim Thome, DH3021100 .212
Paul Konerko, 1B4121002 .213
    Brian Anderson, CF0000000 .234
Joe Crede, 3B3111101 .271
Nick Swisher, CF-1B4110013 .207
Alexei Ramirez, 2B4000013 .218
Totals37511526  
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (9, Jackson), Carlos Quentin (9, Jackson), Jim Thome (7, Jackson), Nick Swisher (6, Jackson)
HR - Paul Konerko (6, Hammel), Joe Crede (9, Jackson)
RBI - Orlando Cabrera (14), Carlos Quentin (48), Jim Thome (28), Paul Konerko (24), Joe Crede (29)
2-OUT RBI - Jim Thome (5)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Joe Crede (11, Throwing)
Chicago White Sox
John Danks (W,4-4) 6611180 2.86
Matt Thornton (H,5) 1000010 3.38
Octavio Dotel 1100010 3.18
Boone Logan 1000110 2.50
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 102-73, Matt Thornton 16-11, Octavio Dotel 18-10, Boone Logan 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 3-7, Matt Thornton 2-1, Boone Logan 1-1
Batters Faced - John Danks 25, Matt Thornton 4, Octavio Dotel 4, Boone Logan 4
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5020013 .277
Carl Crawford, LF4011013 .274
B.J. Upton, CF3010112 .307
Carlos Pena, 1B4000025 .223
Evan Longoria, 3B4010014 .252
Dioner Navarro, C4000002 .361
Jonny Gomes, RF4000041 .209
Willy Aybar, DH4110000 .286
Jason Bartlett, SS3010111 .251
Totals35171211  
Batting
2B - B.J. Upton (15, Dotel), Willy Aybar (3, Danks)
RBI - Carl Crawford (30)
SB - B.J. Upton (15, 3rd base off Dotel/Pierzynski), Jason Bartlett 3 (10, 2nd base off Danks/Pierzynski, 3rd base off Danks/Pierzynski, 3rd base off Thornton/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - B.J. Upton 1
DP - Longoria-Iwamura-Pena
E - Evan Longoria (4, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
Edwin Jackson (L,3-4) 61044241 3.70
Jason Hammel 3111021 4.82
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 101-69, Jason Hammel 37-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 9-4, Jason Hammel 3-4
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 29, Jason Hammel 10
Game Information
Attendance - 12636
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Ted Barrett