ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Leury Garcia’s risky play in the ninth inning turned into a costly mistake by Matt Duffy.
Tim Anderson scored when Duffy committed a throwing error on Garcia’s two-strike bunt, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Saturday night for their third straight win.
Anderson led off the ninth with a double off Yonny Chirinos (0-4). Garcia then bunted a 0-2 pitch toward third, and Duffy threw wildly toward first.
“He was looking at the defense, hoping to split them probably a little more,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “But if you hustle, if you put more pressure on the defense, you give yourself a chance. It worked out. A pretty good defender threw wild to first.”
Duffy said he air-mailed his throw a little bit.
“Just a physical mistake,” he said.
Xavier Cedeno (2-0) got the last out of the eighth for the win, and Thyago Vieira pitched the ninth for his first major league save.
Jose Abreu hit his 19th homer in the fourth for Chicago, tying it at 1. It was Abreu’s third homer in three games, and his ninth in 29 games against Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay left-hander Blake Snell allowed three hits in four innings in his first start for the Rays since July 12. After pitching in the All-Star Game on July 17, the 12-game winner missed a start due to left shoulder fatigue.
“Overall I’m happy with the way I felt,” he said. “It was more draining than I expected but I could have gone out again. It’s something to build on.”
Snell became the first pitcher with 12 consecutive home starts of giving up one or fewer earned runs since Max Lanier of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1943-44. He has an earned run average of 0.97 in nine home starts this year.
Carlos Rodon pitched six effective innings for the White Sox. He yielded an unearned run and three hits with four strikeouts and five walks.
Carlos Gomez scored Tampa Bay’s only run after a double in in the second inning. Gomez moved up on a passed ball and scored on Willy Adames’ infield single.
It was the 25th one-run loss of the season for the Rays, who had only three hits.
Renteria was ejected by umpire Jerry Meals during the fifth inning after a replay confirmed a disputed forceout of Yolmer Sanchez at second base.
“You’re not allowed to expose yourself to conversation with the umpire once the replay is called,” said Renteria. “To their credit, they kept trying to stop me but I just wanted to make sure my sentiments were understood.”
Gomez went down to the ground following a step toward first base after getting hit for his AL-leading 17th time in the sixth. He then got back up smiling and pointing toward the Tampa Bay dugout.
It turned out to be a staged comedy performance.
“We were playing around the other day. I said as a joke to (manager Kevin) Cash and the training staff, ‘I’m the only one to get hit that you never come out to check on me,’” Gomez said. “So I said, ‘Hey next time I’m going to look like I’m going to die.’”
Gomez and Rodon shared a laugh along the third-base line after the inning.
“He thought like something happened,” Gomez said. “I apologized to him. Nothing happened. Just trying to make it fun.”
10 YEARS AFTER
Twenty members of the Rays’ 2008 AL championship team were honored in a pregame ceremony, along with three coaches and Soot Zimmer, widow of former Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer.
White Sox: Anderson has been playing with a tender left knee. He said he intends to play through it.
Rays: INF Daniel Robertson was placed on the 10-day DL with a sprained left thumb and might miss the rest of the season. He is scheduled to see a hand specialist Sunday.
Right-hander James Shields (4-13) is scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale for the White Sox, who are trying to win four straight for the first time this season. Tampa Bay’s career leader in wins (87), Shields is 3-0 in four careers starts against his former team. Hunter Wood or Ryne Stanek will start for the Rays.