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Tampa Bay at Chicago

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Tampa Bay (10-12)100100000250
Chi. White Sox (9-12) «30000200x570

Sale and Dunn send White Sox past Tampa Bay

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Chris Sale pitching at home and Adam Dunn starting to swing better added up to a win for the Chicago White Sox.

Sale overcame a shaky first two innings to combine with two relievers on a five-hitter and Dunn homered to lead the White Sox to a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.

Sale (2-2) is 11-3 with a 2.26 ERA at home in 17 starts dating to the beginning of the 2012 season. He walked three over the first two innings, but settled down and won for the first time since opening day.

He allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, striking out seven and working around four walks.

Matt Lindstrom worked a scoreless eighth, then Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances for Chicago.

"Tonight (Sale) worked his way through it and I think at the end you're looking at what you would expect, but with some little bumps in the road," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "The way he battled back is what you like seeing."

The White Sox also wouldn't mind seeing Dunn battle back.

Dunn, in a 7-for-70 slide coming in, hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Jeremy Hellickson (1-2) for a 5-2 lead. The White Sox designated hitter went 1 for 4, raising his average to .108.

"It's hard to sit here and tell everybody you feel good and the results aren't there, but I do feel good. I have felt good for the most part of the season," Dunn said. "Obviously the results aren't where I want them."

Desmond Jennings walked leading off the game and scored on Evan Longoria's single. Sale then walked two more in the second, but only allowed Jose Lobaton's solo home run in the fourth on his way to another win in Chicago.

"I think it's just like anything," Sale said. "You're a little more comfortable at your house and with the home crowd behind you."

Hellickson gave up five runs, five hits and four walks in six innings with eight strikeouts. Given the early lead, he allowed three runs in the first.

Alejandro De Aza doubled leading off and scored on Jeff Keppinger's double. Alex Rios walked and, one out later, Paul Konerko singled in the go-ahead run. Conor Gillaspie followed with a sacrifice fly.

Chicago had totaled 10 runs in its previous five games, losing four of them.

"I'll take five. I like five," Ventura said. "Five's a good number for our pitching staff. If you get there it's a pretty good number."

Gillaspie was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Alexei Ramirez's double into the left-field corner in the fourth. Longoria took the throw from Kelly Johnson and relayed to Lobaton at the plate.

Lobaton was 2 for 2 with a walk. His home run was his first since Aug. 22.

Hellickson's six-inning outing ended a three-game streak for Rays starters lasting at least eight innings. He said he felt comfortable during the second through the fifth innings, but it was the first (three runs) and the sixth (two) that hurt him.

"We got back into it and the home run took a little steam away from us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Their guy was good. Sale was very good. They just straight up beat us."

Over his last two starts, Hellickson had allowed two runs in 14 innings. He more than matched that early, continuing a trend of first-inning struggles.

Eight of the 15 runs Hellickson's given up this season have been in the first.

"It's kind of frustrating, but I feel good," Hellickson said. "I just need to throw better pitches."

Sale did that after a tough first two innings.

"I think the biggest thing was taking my frustration out of it. Things are going to happen," Sale said. "You can't throw confetti when you're going good and you can't kick yourself in the rear when you're going bad."

Notes

  • Rays SS Yunel Escobar was not in the lineup a day after leaving a game against the Yankees in the seventh with tightness in his right hamstring. Maddon said he is unlikely to play Friday.
  • Chicago started four left-handed batters. Lefties entered hitting .278 against Hellickson, righties just .111.
  • Thursday was the Rays' first game since April 15 against a team that didn't reach last year's playoffs.
  • White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham said his left hand "feels fine" and is hoping he will be back before his expected return in six weeks. Beckham had surgery last week for a broken hamate bone, injured April 9 in Washington.
  • Roberto Hernandez (1-3, 4.74 ERA) starts for Tampa Bay on Friday against Chicago's Jake Peavy (2-1, 3.20).
  • Maddon brought a gnome modeled after him on the road for Tampa Bay's trip. The gnomes were a giveaway for Wednesday's game at Tampa Bay.
 
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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Chris Sale overcomes a shaky first inning to combine with two relievers on a five-hitter for the White Sox. (USATSI)
Chris Sale overcomes a shaky first inning to combine with two relievers on a five-hitter for the White Sox. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Dunn
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

J. Lobaton
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF3100113 .226
Ryan Roberts, 2B3000111 .260
Ben Zobrist, SS4000011 .253
Evan Longoria, 3B4011021 .266
Sean Rodriguez, 1B3010022 .286
   a- James Loney, PH1010000 .327
Shelley Duncan, DH3000001 .184
   b- Matt Joyce, PH-DH1000001 .185
Kelly Johnson, LF4000011 .185
Jose Lobaton, C2121100 .222
   c- Jose Molina, PH1000011 .233
Sam Fuld, RF2000101 .156
Totals3125249  
a-singled for S. Rodriguez in the 9th
b-flied out for Duncan in the 9th
c-struck out for Lobaton in the 9th
Batting
HR - Jose Lobaton (1, Sale)
RBI - Evan Longoria (11), Jose Lobaton (3)
2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria (3), Jose Lobaton (3)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Kelly Johnson 1
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Hellickson (L,1-2) 6555481 4.31
Jamey Wright 1200010 1.93
Brandon Gomes 1000030 4.15
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Hellickson 111-68, Jamey Wright 21-13, Brandon Gomes 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Hellickson 3-6, Jamey Wright 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Hellickson 26, Jamey Wright 5, Brandon Gomes 3
Chicago White Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alejandro De Aza, LF4110030 .235
Jeff Keppinger, 2B4121000 .202
Alex Rios, RF2210200 .303
Adam Dunn, DH4112004 .108
Paul Konerko, 1B4011020 .233
Conor Gillaspie, 3B1001210 .298
Alexei Ramirez, SS4010022 .284
Tyler Flowers, C3000032 .200
Dewayne Wise, CF3000010 .105
Totals29575412  
Batting
2B - Alejandro De Aza (5, Hellickson), Jeff Keppinger (2, Hellickson), Alexei Ramirez (6, Hellickson)
HR - Adam Dunn (4, Hellickson)
SF - Conor Gillaspie (1)
RBI - Jeff Keppinger (6), Adam Dunn 2 (8), Paul Konerko (12), Conor Gillaspie (2)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Gillaspie-Keppinger-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Sale (W,2-2) 7422471 4.09
Matt Lindstrom (H,2) 1000010 2.79
Addison Reed (S,7) 1100010 0.90
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 104-67, Matt Lindstrom 11-8, Addison Reed 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 8-5, Matt Lindstrom 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Sale 28, Matt Lindstrom 3, Addison Reed 4
Game Information
Attendance - 15056
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 52
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Lance Barrett, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Tom Hallion