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Tampa Bay at Chicago

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Tampa Bay (1-6) «0001021059101
Chi. White Sox (4-3)1021010207112

Rays rally past White Sox for first win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Dan Johnson hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run ninth, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied for their first win of the season hours after Manny Ramirez retired, beating the Chicago White Sox 9-7 Friday night.

The dramatic comeback ended a wild day in which Ramirez decided to call it quits rather than face a 100-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy for the second time.

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The Rays appeared to be on their way to another loss after dropping their first six games, but that changed in a hurry in the ninth.

Trailing 7-4, pinch-hitter Elliot Johnson singled off Matt Thornton (0-1) leading off with a single and scored from second with one out when Alexei Ramirez threw wildly to first after fielding Sam Fuld's grounder to short. Juan Pierre then dropped Johnny Damon's fly to left, putting runners on first and second, before B.J. Upton delivered an RBI single to left to make it a one-run game.

Dan Johnson then drove the first pitch out to right to make it 9-7.

After Casey Kotchman flew to center, John Jaso singled. Will Ohman then retired Ben Zobrist on a fly to end the rally.

That made a winner out of Adam Russell (1-0). Farnsworth pitched the ninth for his first save.

Thornton, meanwhile, continues to struggle in the early going and blew his second save in as many chances.

His meltdown spoiled a big day for Gordon Beckham and Mark Teahen, who each had three hits and a homer, and denied John Danks his first win. Alexei Ramirez went deep off James Shields, and the White Sox looked like they were going to win their third straight without slugger Adam Dunn, who's recovering from an appendectomy.

Instead, the Rays staged a dramatic rally. Even so, the big news came before the game.

Manager Joe Maddon expected to have Manny Ramirez back in the cleanup spot after he had left the team earlier in the week to tend to what was called a personal matter.

Instead, they were saying goodbye to one of the most accomplished and controversial sluggers the game has seen, someone they were just getting to know. The 12-time All-Star agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with the defending AL East champions in the offseason, hoping to re-establish himself as an elite hitter, but that didn't happen.

Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for violating the drug policy in 2009, when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ramirez's retirement is just another blow for a team off to its worst start. The Rays lost several players in the offseason including Carl Crawford and are without star third baseman Evan Longoria, who's on the DL.

Danks allowed four runs and six hits while walking four. He left leading 5-3 after Tampa Bay loaded the bases with none out in the seventh.

Jesse Crain came on to face Damon, who had homered earlier, and got him to ground into a force that made it a one-run game. Upton then struck out and Johnson lined to center to end the rally.

Crain retired the side in the eighth before Thornton coughed it up.

Shields, meanwhile, had a rough time against the White Sox.

He allowed five runs and eight hits and was lifted with none out in the seventh after he hit Brent Morel in the left wrist and a bunting Juan Pierre reached on an error by Johnson at first.

Joel Peralta came on and tagged out Morel trying to score on a pitch that got by catcher Kelly Shoppach, who immediately left the game with a sore right knee and was replaced by Jaso.

Shields quickly fell into a hole when Beckham drove a belt-high pitch out to left with one out in the first to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.

The White Sox got two more with one out in the third on back-to-back doubles by Beckham and Alex Rios and a single off the left-field wall by Paul Konerko, giving him an RBI in each of the first seven games and extending his franchise record.

Tampa Bay's Sean Rodriguez tripled in a run in the fourth before Teahen answered with a solo shot in the bottom half, but the Rays weren't finished.

They scored two in the sixth on a solo homer by Damon with one out and an RBI bunt single down the first base line by Rodriguez after Upton walked and Johnson singled. Danks then struck out Shoppach and Zobrist to end the rally, and Ramirez drove one out to left in the bottom half to make it 5-3.

Notes

The Rays recalled Kotchman to take Ramirez's spot on the roster. ... Chicago's Jake Peavy, on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder, allowed two unearned runs and five hits in 3 2-3 innings for Double-A Birmingham at Montgomery. He threw 71 pitches, 43 for strikes.

 
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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The Rays' Dan Johnson celebrates with B.J. Upton (left) and Johnny Damon after belting a three-run dinger in the ninth. (AP)
The Rays' Dan Johnson celebrates with B.J. Upton (left) and Johnny Damon after belting a three-run dinger in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

D. Johnson
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Chicago

M. Teahen
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Sam Fuld, LF-RF4100100 .231
Johnny Damon, DH-LF5212000 .083
B.J. Upton, CF3311212 .360
Dan Johnson, 1B-3B5123003 .107
Sean Rodriguez, 3B3022010 .333
   a- Casey Kotchman, PH-1B2000000 .000
Kelly Shoppach, C3010013 .182
    John Jaso, C2010000 .077
Ben Zobrist, 2B5000024 .154
Matt Joyce, RF2100110 .050
   b- Elliot Johnson, PH-SS1110000 .286
Reid Brignac, SS3010000 .214
   c- Felipe Lopez, PH-3B1000011 .250
Totals39910847  
a-grounded out for S. Rodriguez in the 8th
b-singled for Joyce in the 9th
c-struck out for Brignac in the 9th
Batting
3B - Sean Rodriguez (1, Danks)
HR - Johnny Damon (1, Danks), Dan Johnson (1, Thornton)
RBI - Johnny Damon 2 (2), B.J. Upton (4), Dan Johnson 3 (3), Sean Rodriguez 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Sean Rodriguez (1)
SB - Johnny Damon (2, 2nd base off Crain/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Sam Fuld 1
DP - S. Rodriguez-Johnson
E - Dan Johnson (1, Missed catch of throw)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
James Shields 6855103 4.73
Joel Peralta 1.1211000 2.25
Cesar Ramos 0.1111100 3.86
Adam Russell (W,1-0) 0.1000000 3.86
Kyle Farnsworth (S,1) 1000000 0.00
IBB - A. Ramirez by Cesar Ramos
HBP - Morel (by James Shields)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 92-59, Joel Peralta 18-13, Cesar Ramos 16-7, Adam Russell 2-2, Kyle Farnsworth 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 9-9, Cesar Ramos 1-0, Kyle Farnsworth 1-2
Batters Faced - James Shields 28, Joel Peralta 4, Cesar Ramos 3, Adam Russell 1, Kyle Farnsworth 3
Chicago White Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Juan Pierre, LF4000000 .313
Gordon Beckham, 2B5231001 .355
Alex Rios, CF5111002 .212
Paul Konerko, 1B3021101 .393
Carlos Quentin, RF4010002 .429
    Brent Lillibridge, PR-RF0100000 .333
A.J. Pierzynski, C4000002 .222
Alexei Ramirez, SS3211100 .300
Mark Teahen, DH4133000 .500
Brent Morel, 3B3000002 .259
Totals35711720  
Batting
2B - Gordon Beckham 2 (3, Shields, Shields), Alex Rios (3, Shields), Carlos Quentin (6, Peralta)
HR - Gordon Beckham (1, Shields), Alexei Ramirez (1, Shields), Mark Teahen (1, Shields)
SH - Juan Pierre (2)
RBI - Gordon Beckham (4), Alex Rios (4), Paul Konerko (9), Alexei Ramirez (4), Mark Teahen 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Alexei Ramirez (1), Mark Teahen 2 (2)
SB - Juan Pierre (4, 2nd base off Peralta/Shoppach), Alexei Ramirez (2, 2nd base off Ramos/Jaso)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Juan Pierre (1, Dropped fly), Alexei Ramirez (2, Throwing)
Chicago White Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
John Danks 6644451 4.50
Jesse Crain (H,1) 2000010 2.08
Matt Thornton (BS,2; L,0-1) 0.2450011 2.70
Will Ohman 0.1000000 16.20
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 105-67, Jesse Crain 28-17, Matt Thornton 33-23, Will Ohman 2-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 6-7, Jesse Crain 2-3, Matt Thornton 1-2
Batters Faced - John Danks 28, Jesse Crain 6, Matt Thornton 8, Will Ohman 1
Game Information
Attendance - 20199
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 44
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Doug Eddings