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Tampa Bay at Chicago

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (79-50)2100011000581
Chi. White Sox (74-55) «00040000116132

Ramirez lifts ChiSox past Rays with game-winning RBI in 10th

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- A.J. Pierzynski found himself in the middle of another strange play, and once again the umpire involved was Doug Eddings.

This time, the chaos followed a rundown between second and third, not a third strike.

"It's just a funny coincidence, I guess," said Pierzynski, whose bizarre trip around the bases in the 10th inning Sunday capped a 6-5 victory for the Chicago White Sox over the Tampa Bay Rays. "Him and I will be linked forever because of that one play, and now there's two plays."

Eddings and Pierzynski were at the center of a disputed call in the 2005 AL championship series between Chicago and the Los Angeles Angels. The latest ruckus came before Alexei Ramirez singled home the winning run Sunday, allowing the White Sox to avoid a three-game sweep.

Chicago also moved back into first place in the AL Central, a half-game ahead of Minnesota.

Jim Thome hit his 534th homer, Carlos Quentin also connected and Chicago tied it at 5 in the ninth on pinch-hitter Paul Konerko's two-out single off fill-in closer Dan Wheeler.

Ken Griffey Jr. started the rally with a one-out double.

Rocco Baldelli hit his second homer in three days and Carlos Pena gave Tampa Bay a 5-4 lead with an RBI double in the seventh.

Pierzynski led off the 10th with a single against Jason Hammel (4-4), then tagged up and went to second when center fielder B.J. Upton casually flipped the ball in after catching Quentin's fly. Jermaine Dye sent a grounder toward shortstop, Pierzynski got caught in a rundown and the strange play unfolded.

Pierzynski, who always seems to be at the center of controversy, appeared to get tagged out after falling -- but Eddings signaled safe instead.

The second base ump called interference on Rays third baseman Willy Aybar, ruling that he bumped the runner after a throw toward second. Replays showed that Pierzynski initiated the contact, hitting Aybar with his left elbow before falling to the ground.

"As a runner, you're allowed to do that," third-base umpire Ted Barrett said. "What Doug ruled at second base was, even though A.J. did kind of stick his arm out to make contact, Aybar was still in his way. So A.J., if he would have turned, he wouldn't have been able to continue on to third. So after making the throw, Aybar is no longer in the act of fielding and he can't obstruct the runner, which is what Doug ruled happened. And in a rundown, even though A.J. was going back to second, the rule of obstruction during a rundown is he gets his next advanced base and that's why he was rewarded third base.

"If Aybar's got the ball, there's no obstruction," Barrett said. "You protect the fielder when he's in the act of fielding. Once that ball's released and out of his hand, he has to vacate."

Tampa Bay infielders and manager Joe Maddon argued vehemently to no avail, and Pierzynski was awarded third. Hammel intentionally walked Thome before Ramirez singled to right.

That made a winner of Bobby Jenks (3-0), who pitched two scoreless innings.

Aybar said through a translator that Eddings told him he initiated the contact and that "he wasn't going to talk to him anymore, that he was going to talk to Joe."

And Maddon said: "(Eddings) thought he bumped him, that Willy interfered or obstructed with the runner and he gave him the extra base. I disagree."

Eddings was behind the plate in the 2005 AL Championship Series when he called strike three on Pierzynski -- but not the third out -- in the ninth inning of Game 2. In a weird scene, Eddings ruled the two-out pitch had bounced in the dirt, and Pierzynski hustled safely to first as the Angels ran off the field. Moments later, the White Sox rallied to win.

In this one, the AL East-leading Rays seemed to be on their way to their 12th win in 15 games before Konerko's single to left on a 2-2 pitch from Wheeler, subbing for injured closer Troy Percival.

The throw home from Ben Zobrist arrived in plenty of time but bounced off catcher Shawn Riggans, allowing pinch-runner Brian Anderson to score the tying run.

The blown save was Wheeler's second in 10 chances and denied Andy Sonnanstine his 14th win, which would have tied the club record set by Rolando Arrojo in 1998.

Thome and Quentin hit two-run homers in the fourth to give the White Sox a 4-3 lead. Thome's shot tied Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx for 15th on the career list. Quentin leads the majors with 36 this season.

Chicago's bullpen blew late leads in the first two games of the series. This time, poor defense was the problem.

Baldelli, who missed the first 116 games of the season with a muscular disorder, hit a two-run shot in the first after first baseman Nick Swisher booted Pena's grounder for an error, the first of several gaffes.

Pierzynski's passed ball with two outs in the second allowed Jason Bartlett to reach on a strikeout, putting runners on first and third before Akinori Iwamura's run-scoring single.

The Rays tied it 4-all in the sixth when shortstop Orlando Cabrera booted Aybar's grounder for an error, allowing Pena to score.

Chicago's Mark Buehrle allowed five runs -- two earned -- in 6 2/3 innings.

Notes

  • White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said D.J. Carrasco or Matt Thornton will pitch Monday at Baltimore when a game that was suspended after 11 innings April 28 resumes. Carrasco pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday. Clayton Richard is scheduled to start the regularly scheduled game afterward.
  • Percival, on the 15-day disabled list with cartilage damage in his right knee, is scheduled to play catch Monday.
 
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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Alexei Ramirez gets to play hero after he drives in the White Sox's winning run in the 10th inning.  (AP)
Alexei Ramirez gets to play hero after he drives in the White Sox's winning run in the 10th inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Thome
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

R. Baldelli
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5021001 .275
B.J. Upton, CF5010013 .269
Carlos Pena, 1B4221110 .243
Rocco Baldelli, DH5122014 .308
Willy Aybar, 3B5001010 .240
Ben Zobrist, LF5110020 .236
Shawn Riggans, C4000102 .229
Gabe Gross, RF4000014 .230
Jason Bartlett, SS3100120 .270
Totals4058539  
Batting
2B - B.J. Upton (30, Jenks), Carlos Pena (17, Buehrle), Rocco Baldelli (1, Buehrle)
HR - Rocco Baldelli (2, Buehrle)
RBI - Akinori Iwamura (39), Carlos Pena (78), Rocco Baldelli 2 (4), Willy Aybar (20)
2-OUT RBI - Akinori Iwamura (16), Carlos Pena (20), Rocco Baldelli 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Aybar-Iwamura-Pena, Iwamura-Bartlett-Pena
E - Willy Aybar (2, Interference)
Tampa Bay Rays
Andy Sonnanstine 6.1944112 4.42
J.P. Howell (H,13) 0.2000000 2.56
Grant Balfour (H,10) 1000000 1.47
Dan Wheeler (BS,2) 1211020 2.57
Jason Hammel (L,4-4) 0.1211100 4.16
IBB - Thome by Jason Hammel
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 81-58, J.P. Howell 9-6, Grant Balfour 13-6, Dan Wheeler 23-15, Jason Hammel 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 8-8, J.P. Howell 1-1, Jason Hammel 1-1
Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 27, J.P. Howell 2, Grant Balfour 3, Dan Wheeler 5, Jason Hammel 5
Chicago White Sox
Orlando Cabrera, SS5020012 .272
A.J. Pierzynski, C5230002 .299
Carlos Quentin, LF5112002 .289
Jermaine Dye, RF5110001 .296
Jim Thome, DH4132100 .253
Alexei Ramirez, 2B-3B5011012 .307
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4010002 .246
    Brian Anderson, PR-CF0100000 .240
Nick Swisher, 1B3000111 .233
Juan Uribe, 3B3000001 .239
   a- Paul Konerko, PH1011000 .230
    Chris Getz, PR-2B0000000 .286
Totals40613623  
a-singled for Uribe in the 9th
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (24, Sonnanstine), Jermaine Dye (33, Sonnanstine), Ken Griffey Jr. (22, Wheeler)
HR - Carlos Quentin (36, Sonnanstine), Jim Thome (27, Sonnanstine)
RBI - Carlos Quentin 2 (99), Jim Thome 2 (75), Alexei Ramirez (58), Paul Konerko (45)
2-OUT RBI - Paul Konerko (7)
SB - Chris Getz (1, 2nd base off Wheeler/Riggans)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - A. Ramirez-Cabrera-Swisher
PB - A.J. Pierzynski (5)
E - Orlando Cabrera (12, Misplayed grounder), Nick Swisher (6, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago White Sox
Mark Buehrle 6.2652251 3.86
D.J. Carrasco 1.1000020 2.25
Bobby Jenks (W,3-0) 2200120 1.71
IBB - Pena by Bobby Jenks
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 109-67, D.J. Carrasco 12-9, Bobby Jenks 35-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 12-5, D.J. Carrasco 2-0, Bobby Jenks 4-0
Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 30, D.J. Carrasco 4, Bobby Jenks 9
Game Information
Attendance - 38562
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Ted Barrett