Make us your home page

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 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

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.