The teams with the two best records in baseball met for the first time this season, and the team at the top will maintain its spot for at least two more days.
The Rays hit three homers while keeping the White Sox in the park, halting Chicago’s four-game winning streak while extending their baseball-best road record to 24-10.
The Lance Lynn-Tyler Glasnow pitching duel didn’t materialize as many imagined. Lynn gave up a two-run shot to Austin Meadows in the first inning, and a solo shot to Brandon Lowe in the third. Both came on cutters, and both landed in a similar spots on the fair side of the right-field foul pole.
Lynn made it through six, although it wasn’t easy. He couldn’t record a 1-2-3 inning, but found ways to neutralize the traffic with eight strikeouts, finishing with a quality start for a sort-of moral victory.
He outlasted Glasnow, who came out overpowering, but left with what appeared to be a forearm issue after four innings. The White Sox were able to put two runs on his tab in the third thanks to some aggressive baserunning. Leury García reached on an inside-outed double, took third on Danny Mendick’s opposite-field flyout, then scored with a great read on the pitch in the dirt to manufacture some #WILDPITCHOFFENSE.
The inning could have ended there, but Tim Anderson restarted the party with a line drive to the right center gap that he hustled into a double, crashing into second ahead of Kevin Kiermaier’s on-target-but-off-balance throw. Brian Goodwin then muscled a blooper into shallow left to score Anderson, narrowing the gap at one.
After Glasnow left the game, the Rays’ supply of hard-throwing righties neutralized a White Sox offense without Yoán Moncada, while the Rays pressed the Sox and extended the margin. In the eighth, Garrett Crochet had to get past Randy Arozarena to start his second inning of work before he could feast on lefties, but Arozarena tagged a fastball out to right for a solo shot and a two-run lead.
Two defensive miscues led to another Rays run in the ninth. Goodwin misread Taylor Walls’ drive to the left-center gap, turning an out into a double. José Ruiz almost worked around it, but he dropped José Abreu’s flip on what would’ve been an inning-ending 3-1 putout by the slimmest of margins, and Walls scored from second as the ball rolled into the outfield grass.
The Sox’s only real threat came in the eighth when Anderson led off with an infield single off Diego Castillo, but he was picked off for no good reason. Rays relievers retired 12 of the last 13 they faced, but still faced the minimum over that stretch.
*The 3-7 spots in the White Sox lineup went 0-for-18 with one walk and eight strikeouts.
*The Sox played strong defense before the ninth. Goodwin robbed Arozarena of at least one base with a diving catch in center, and Mendick turned an impressive 4-3 double play on Walls in the fifth.
*Although García didn’t keep his glove down on a grounder to the left side. It was scored an infield single.