Rays snap White Sox’ winning streak at four
Lance Lynn wasn’t at his very best but logged a workmanlike six innings, allowing three runs on a pair of homers and leaving with the Sox trailing by a run.
The White Sox hosted the Rays Monday night in an anticipated matchup of the teams with the best records in baseball.
They tried to minimize the meaning of a 5-2 loss, especially with 96 games to play.
“I mean, it was 60 games [66th of the season], so we’ll leave it at that,” said Sox right-hander Lance Lynn, who allowed three runs on a pair of early homers. “But they are a really good team. We knew that coming in, and they were able to get some runs early, and then they were able to add on late. That’s what we aspire to be.
“It’s June, nobody gives a s---.”
Lynn smiled after he said it, matter-of-factly. Perhaps, but he also knows the Sox will have to be better against the better teams than they were Monday. The Rays (43-24), the defending American League champions, won for the seventh time in eight games and snapped the Sox’ four-game winning streak.
“We have some guys seeing what a team that was in the World Series looks like,” Lynn said. “They have some talent top to bottom, guys who can pitch and who give you all kind of different looks coming out of the bullpen. It was a good challenge for us overall.”
Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow allowed two runs and left after four innings with a tight elbow. But the Rays’ bullpen strung together five zeros. The Sox (41-25) had five hits, including Tim Anderson’s single leading off the eighth that put the tying run at the plate, but right-hander Diego Castillo picked him off for the first out.
“Well, I’d like to see the move,” manager Tony La Russa said, “but, yes, he had a green light to go, and he’s got excellent judgment. He got picked. It’s not a bad baseball play when you’re trying to steal a base to get picked off. It’s better to be picked off than to be thrown out at second.
“He didn’t do anything wrong.”
The matchup before 18,024 fans at Guaranteed Rate Field marked the first Sox game since July 20, 2006, at Detroit in which both teams owned the top two records in baseball.
The Rays were aggressive early in counts against Lynn (7-2, 1.66 ERA), who wasn’t at his very best but logged a workmanlike six innings, leaving with the Sox trailing by a run. Lynn served up a two-run homer to cleanup man Austin Meadows in the first and a solo shot to leadoff man Brandon Lowe in the third, putting the Sox in a 3-0 hole.
“I made two mistakes,” Lynn said. “One was a decent pitch, and he made a good swing and kept it fair. The other one was a bad sinker down and in, especially with two outs. You can’t make that pitch right there.”
The Sox flashed some speed, scoring two in the third. Leury Garcia doubled, advanced on Danny Mendick’s fly to right and scored on a wild pitch that didn’t bounce far away from catcher Mike Zunino. But Garcia got a good read on it and a quick jump. After Anderson’s hustle double with two outs, Brian Goodwin poked a single to left, scoring Anderson.
Randy Arozarena’s homer against left-hander Garrett Crochet in the eighth, the first allowed by the rookie, ended Crochet’s scoreless-innings streak at 16 and gave the Rays a 4-2 lead. An error on Sox reliever Jose Ruiz covering first allowed the Rays’ fifth run to score in the ninth.
“It was an even-steven game that got away from us at the end,” La Russa said. “We had a couple of chances. I liked the way we competed.
“I am impressed [by the Rays], but I’m also impressed by the White Sox. We were a one-run game [until the eighth inning]. So I was impressed with both teams.”