(Sports Network) - Chris Sale eyes his 18th win, but more importantly tries to
keep the Chicago White Sox's postseason hopes alive on Saturday when they
continue a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.
Sale has failed to get that win his last two times out and did not get a
decision against Cleveland on Monday, as he surrendered three runs and 10 hits
in seven innings, dropping him to 17-7 to go along with a 2.86 ERA.
The 23-year-old lefty beat the Rays earlier in the year in his only other
start against them and has pitched to a 1.86 ERA in three appearances against
Chicago picked up a much needed win on Friday, as Alex Rios hit a solo homer
and Gavin Floyd tossed five innings of one-run baseball to help the White Sox
to a 3-1 victory.
Kevin Youkilis and Alexei Ramirez added an RBI apiece for the White Sox, who
are now one game behind the Tigers for first place in the AL Central. Detroit
lost to the Twins on Friday.
"I thought it was amazing how many fans at once were looking at that
scoreboard (checking the outcome of the Detroit game)," said White Sox second
baseman Gordon Beckham. "You would've thought that we just hit a home run."
Floyd (11-11) gave up two hits while striking out six and walking five for
Chicago, which snapped a three-game skid. He improved to 5-1 in six career
starts against the Rays.
Ben Zobrist hit a solo homer for Tampa Bay, which had its eight-game winning
Jeremy Hellickson (9-11) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits over
5 2/3 innings for the Rays, who fell three games behind Oakland for the final
wild card spot in the AL.
"(Hellickson) pitched well enough to win," said Rays manager Joe Maddon.
"Giving up three runs, we should be able to win a game like tonight's game but
we did not. But again, we are playing hard and the guys care."
Getting the call for the Rays on Saturday will be 23-year-old lefty Matt
Moore, who has lost his last four decisions. Moore did not get a decision last
Saturday against Toronto, as he allowed two runs and three hits with two walks
in just two innings.
"He just didn't have it tonight," Maddon said. "Earlier in the season, you can
be a little more patient, but you can't be as patient right now. I just did
not see him fixing himself tonight."
Moore, who is 10-11 with a 3.92 ERA on the year, has now had three straight
outings of four innings or less.
"I couldn't complain about how I'm feeling right now," Moore said. "[Fatigue]
is definitely not the issue ... You look at my pitch count and the situation
of the game with our standing, where we are right now, is pretty tight right
now. It goes without saying that we're gonna make some moves possibly early in
the game like that when I don't have it early."
Moore lost to Sale and the White Sox earlier in the season.
Chicago swept an early-season series against the Rays from May 28-30 and has
won seven of the past 11 matchups between the two clubs.
The Sports Network