Evan Longoria hit a solo home run against Brett Myers in the ninth inning, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-2 win against the reeling White Sox before 18,630 fans at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday night.
The loss dropped the Sox to two games behind the American League Central leading Tigers, who earlier in the day defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-4. The Sox and Tigers have six games left on their schedules. The Sox have lost eight of their last nine games.
The Sox scored one run in the fourth and fifth innings but came away from each wanting and needing more after loading the bases in each one against James Shields.
Sox starter Jake Peavy allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings in what could have been his last game as a White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Peavy has a $22 million team option for next season.
In addition to the Sox’ frustration in the fourth and fifth innings, the eighth inning ended when pinch runner Jordan Danks was called out at second for failing to re-touch the bag after passing it on a fly ball to center field. Danks was pinch running for A.J. Pierzynski, who led off the inning with a single.
Pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise, who has no sacrifice bunts this year, failed in his attempt to bunt Danks to second before striking out. The Sox left 10 runners on base.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney struck out Adam Dunn to end the game after Kevin Youkilis singled with two outs in the Sox ninth. Rodney has 46 saves.