Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays shut out White Sox

CHICAGO — Cesar Ramos had looked good in racing through the first four innings against the White Sox on a frigid Saturday night.

But things got a little hot in the fifth, when a couple of walks and a single loaded the bases and Chicago's top hitter, Jose Abreu, the slugging rookie who did in the Rays the night before, was headed to the plate.

Manager Joe Maddon hadn't shown much faith previously in Ramos, the lefty who was making his third start since joining the rotation. And he had reliever Brandon Gomes, a righty who would match up better with Abreu, at the ready.

But Maddon — for several reasons — gave Ramos the chance, and the pitcher proved him right by getting Abreu to ground out, the key moment in a 4-0 victory that the Rays badly needed.

"It was one of those things I didn't want to get too smart with," Maddon said. "I just put the seat belt on right there."

First, the Rays are counting on Ramos, who took the place of injured Matt Moore, so leaving him in was a show of confidence by Maddon. It was also a courtesy, as Ramos needed to finish the fifth to qualify for the win, his first in six big-league starts.

But Maddon was looking beyond the mound as well, trying to limit the amount of work for his battered bullpen.

"Honestly, it was a combination of the two things," Maddon said. "I'm always making the decision based on what's best for the team, and with what's happened more recently, you just can't kill your bullpen."

That's where Gomes came in. Maddon apparently didn't have that much faith in Ramos, as he pulled him after a leadoff single in the sixth, on his 65th pitch.

But Gomes took it from there, working three impressive innings, and Juan Carlos Oviedo pitched the ninth. That could pay off for days, as the Rays have ace David Price going today and a forecast for a rainout Monday, which would allow them to get the bullpen back in order.

"That is so big what (Gomes) did," Maddon said.

Coming off the staggering walkoff loss Friday, and playing what, with a first-pitch temp of 36 degrees, was the second-coldest game in team history, the Rays (11-13) got off to a good start.

They took an early 3-0 lead, on a two-run double by catcher Ryan Hanigan (second on the team with 14 RBIs) and a single by James Loney.

Ramos, meanwhile, needed only 38 pitches to get through the first four innings, getting weak contact and quick outs.

"It was cold, it was tough to get a grip on the ball," said Ramos, a Southern California native. "It was just about getting in and out quick, getting my defense off the field as quickly as possible. The only way I could do that was by throwing strikes, getting them to put the ball in play."

Admitting it seemed "counter­intuitive" to leave Ramos in, Maddon said he liked the way he handled Abreu his first two at-bats. He liked it even more when Ramos got him to bounce to third on a changeup to end the Chicago threat.

"Building that trust," Ramos said. "And hopefully with every outing that trust gets stronger."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

Rays shut out White Sox 04/26/14 [Last modified: Sunday, April 27, 2014 12:24am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter