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Sunday, April 27, 2014
Rapid Reaction: White Sox 9, Rays 2

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- The White Sox won for the second time on the homestand, rolling to a 9-2 victory Sunday over the Tampa Bay Rays.

How it happened: Scott Carroll took care of things on the pitching side in his major league debut while fellow rookie Jose Abreu handled the offensive side. Carroll, a 29-year-old career minor leaguer, gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits over 7 1/3 innings. Abreu hit his 10th home run of the season in a five-run sixth inning against Rays starter David Price. Before the White Sox’s outburst in the sixth, they had gone 14 innings without a run.

What it means: Carroll was pure poise, using his trademark sinker to keep Rays hitters off balance. If he was battling nerves, it rarely showed as the Rays’ first hit didn’t come until No. 9 hitter Jose Molina singled in the third inning. Injuries and struggles have decimated the White Sox rotation and a steadying influence the White Sox can trust every five days will go a long way as the club tries to piece together a pitching staff.

Outside the box: Abreu’s accomplishments are starting to add up fast. On Friday, he set the all-time rookie record for home runs before May 1. On Sunday, he set the rookie RBI record in March/April with 31. His 10 home runs are the most from a White Sox rookie in any month, and the 31 RBIs are the most in any month for a White Sox player since Frank Thomas had the same number in Aug. 2003.

Off beat: Carroll’s 7 1/3 innings gave him the longest major league debut for a White Sox pitcher since Gerry Janeski also went 7 1/3 innings on April 19, 1970 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Before Sunday he had pitched in 138 games (107 starts) over eight minor league seasons. He was 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA at Triple-A Charlotte and won International league pitcher of the week honors earlier this month.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Andre Rienzo (1-0, 4.91 ERA) to the mound Monday against the Rays in the final game of the four-game series. Tampa Bay will counter with right-hander Jake Odorizzi (1-2, 6.52) in the 7:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.