White Sox hoping bats get warmer than the weather

The White Sox took two of three from the Rays, and managed to win the series despite scoring nine runs over three games.

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Tim Anderson is tagged out at home plate trying to score after the ball got away from Rays catcher Francisco Mejia.


The White Sox took two of three from the Rays and managed to win the series despite scoring a combined nine runs in three games.

‘‘We’ve swung the bat well but not to our potential yet,’’ said designated hitter Gavin Sheets, who homered in the ninth inning Sunday. “I think that’s just part of being early in the season with cold weather. We’ll get it going. I think we’ve done a tremendous job so far winning series without our best stuff, but I think we’ll get it going as a team collectively.’’

The Sox hope that’s true. On Sunday, they faced a Rays team that used opener J.P. Feyereisen and also sent out Chris Mazza, Jalen Beeks, Ryan Thompson and Tommy Romero.

Sheets said that was tough to deal with.

‘‘You like to get a starter and see him once, twice, three times, and you kind of pick up on what he’s got,’’ Sheets said. ‘‘It’s weird facing just relievers every time. You can’t really get settled in. It’s about you just trust the scouting reports and get ready to go.’’

The game-time temperature of 41 degrees didn’t help, either.

‘‘Yeah, it was cold,’’ Sheets said. ‘‘It wasn’t as tough for me because I was DH-ing, so I could stay in the warmth,’’ Sheets said. ‘‘But those guys out there for the innings, it was freezing. Those guys were coming in [and] getting hot as soon as possible. It’s tough, but that’s part of where we play in this division. It’s never an excuse, but it wasn’t easy out there.’’

Kelly update

Manager Tony La Russa said reliever Joe Kelly (nerve injury in biceps) recently had a ‘‘real good’’ throwing session at the Sox’ complex in Arizona, throwing in the mid-90s with no discomfort. Even more encouraging, La Russa said that Kelly’s stamina showed improvement from his previous outing and that he is on track to face hitters soon.

‘‘He’s doing well,’’ La Russa said.

Kelly’s arrival would add another personality to the bullpen mix, not to mention an arm with World Series experience. La Russa said Kelly provides ‘‘the whole package.’’

‘‘The bullpen, they’re like a little small club,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘And it’s good to have some characters down there; there’s some conversation. And we definitely have that going for us. But along with it, he’s going to add quality and depth to our bullpen.’’

As for a rehab stint at Triple-A Charlotte, La Russa said he thinks that’s the plan for Kelly, but Kelly’s experience might make it unnecessary.

What a play

After the Rays’ four-run first inning, Sox shortstop Tim Anderson led off the bottom of the inning with a deep drive to left. Rays outfielder Josh Lowe jumped and reached back over the fence to rob Anderson of a home run.

‘‘That catch was impressive,’’ Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ‘‘I thought that was a no-doubt homer. It’s a good thing it was cold and the wind was blowing the other way. But Josh being 6-4 [or] whatever, he got up there pretty good.’’

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