Rapid Reaction: Rays 8, White Sox 3

July, 5, 2013
7/05/13
10:34
PM CT
By Chris Girandola
Special to ESPNChicago.com
Archive


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Chicago White Sox suffered an 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday to open a three-game set in St. Petersburg.

How it happened: Dylan Axelrod lasted just 1 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season as the right-hander allowed five runs and nine hits, including two home runs. Jose Molina tagged Axelrod for a two-run shot to left to start the scoring in the second inning and Kelly Johnson immediately followed with a solo homer to right. Later, Axelrod surrendered an RBI single to Evan Longoria and then a run-scoring double to rookie outfielder Wil Myers before being relieved. The 17 homers allowed by Axelrod are the most by a White Sox starter this season. Axelrod is just 1-4 with a 5.32 ERA over nine road starts this season.

What it means: Despite coming into Friday's contest winners of two of their last three games, the loss on Friday means the White Sox have lost seven of their past nine and 25 of 35. Trade talks involving Adam Dunn are sure to heat up even more now, considering Dunn's torrid pace over his last 24 games.

Outside the box: Two White Sox players made their Major League debuts on Friday with Josh Phegley starting at catcher and Simon Castro pitching three scoreless innings of relief. Phegley collected his first big league hit with a single off Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson in the fifth, finishing 1-for-3 for the night. Castro allowed two consecutive singles to open the sixth, but the tall right-hander settled down and retired nine of the final batters he faced.

Offbeat: The last time the White Sox had two players make their Major League debut in the same game occurred on Sept. 2, 2011 when Eduardo Escobar and Shane Lindsay appeared in a game together. It was the first time the White Sox had two players make their big league debuts before September call-ups since McKay Christensen and David Lundquist did so on April 6, 1999. … Alexei Ramirez had been the last major leaguer this season to have played every inning before being replaced after the sixth inning. Gordon Beckham made his first career appearance at shortstop when he moved from second to replace Ramirez in the seventh.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Chris Sale (5-7, 2.79 ERA) to the mound Saturday against Tampa Bay in Game 2. The Rays will counter with left-hander Matt Moore (11-3, 3.65) in the 6:15 p.m. CST time start from Tropicana Field.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
3 2.30 29 27
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Ramirez .360
HRJ. Abreu 5
RBIJ. Abreu 17
RA. Ramirez 15
OPSA. Ramirez .987
ERAC. Sale 2.30
SOC. Sale 29