Luis Patino allowed just a pair of runs in six innings, and Brandon Lowe, Manuel Margot, and Joey Wendle each drove in a pair of runs as the Tampa Bay Rays evened their weekend series with the Chicago White Sox with a 7-4 victory Saturday at Tropicana Field.
The Rays jumped on White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel in the first inning, with Nelson Cruz singling with one out and Yandy Diaz following with a base hit two batters. Wander Franco then grounded a pitch off the third base bag and over the head of Yoan Moncada for an RBI double to give Tampa Bay the lead.
Lowe followed with a two-run double that extended the lead to 3-0.
Cruz made the lead 4-0 an inning later, as his groundout scored Mike Zunino, who had drawn a walk off Keuchel and moved to second on a single by Wendle and took third on a flyout by Randy Arozarena.
Chicago got on the board in the third when Seby Zevala homered off Patino, his fifth of the year, to make it 4-1.
The Rays re-established their four run lead in the fourth, when Zunino tripled off Keuchel and scored on a base hit by Wendle.
Margot pushed the lead to 6-1 in the fifth as his double scored Franco, who had reached on an infield hit, from first base.
Eloy Jimenez’s RBI single off Patino in the sixth pulled the White Sox back to withing 7-2, and Chicago scored twice in the eighth both charged to reliever Louis Head to get back to within 7-4. But Collin McHugh struck out Moncada to end the eighth, and worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his first save.
The Rays maintain a four-game lead in the American League East over the Yankees.
Tampa Bay can finish off a series win in Snday’s finale, as Chris Archer (0-1, 6.23 ERA) will come off the 60-day injured list and start against Reynaldo Lopez (2-0, 1.08 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10.