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Sunday, April 28, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rays 8, White Sox 3

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox were upended 8-3 by the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday to end an abbreviated homestand with a 3-5 record.

How it happened: Paul Konerko hit his fourth home run and Adam Dunn continued his revival with a first-inning RBI single. But the White Sox sprung a leak in the later innings as Matt Joyce hit a game-tying two-run home run in the sixth inning, while the bullpen, combined with an error from Alex Rios, was touched for a three-run eighth inning. Ben Zobrist singled in a run in the eighth against Nate Jones for a 4-3 Rays lead, and with the White Sox almost out of the inning, Rios dropped a two-out shallow fly ball for two more runs.

What it means:
The combination of an inconsistent offense and a less-than-trustworthy defense continues to cause the White Sox problems. Dylan Axelrod gave up three runs over six innings, but the White Sox offense could only match that total. Add to that two more errors, one of which led to the two eighth-inning runs, and the White Sox simply have too much to overcome in a daily basis. The White Sox entered play on Sunday tied with the Indians for most errors among AL Central teams (14).

Outside the box:
Konerko managed to move himself up two home run lists Sunday. He not only hit his 426th home run to tie Billy Williams for 45th on the all-time list, but he also closed the gap on Frank Thomas’ White Sox career home-run mark. Konerko is now 29 home runs away from Thomas, who had 448 in a White Sox uniform. Konerko hit seven big league home runs before joining the White Sox.

Offbeat: It might be time to update Conor Gillaspie’s profile from a developing defender to one who has an unconventional give-and-take style. Gillaspie has always been a work in progress with the glove but has been a pleasant surprise since coming over to the White Sox. He made a first-inning error on an easy ground ball, only to atone for the miscue with a diving stop to his left on a ground ball from Evan Longoria and throw to first for the out. He made a similar play earlier in the homestand to cut down a runner at the plate.

Up next: The White Sox will have a day off Monday before opening an eight-game, three-city road trip at Texas. In the series opener on Tuesday, White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana (2-0, 2.78) will oppose Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish (4-1, 1.65) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Rangers Ballpark at Arlington.