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)

Tampa Bay Rays fall behind early, lose to Chicago White Sox

CHICAGO — The opportunity was there again. Twice actually. But the Rays can't expect to come back and win all the time, and their run of late-inning rallies ended Monday, and the biggest reason may have been because they ran themselves out of a prime opportunity.

Instead of celebrating their first game back at U.S. Cellular Field, where they were last seen popping champagne after clinching the division series, they were pondering the might-have-beens after a 4-3 loss to the White Sox.

"It was there," manager Joe Maddon said.

Jason Bartlett had the most to think about, thrown out trying to steal third with one out and two on in the eighth. He then struck out with the bases loaded for the final out in the ninth.

The loss ended their three-game streak of come-from-behind wins, and dropped them to 51-42, though they stayed 4½ games out as the Red Sox lost and dropped into a tie with the Yankees.

"I liked our intensity," Maddon said. "I like the way we're going after things right now. I can't ask for anything more from our group."

Bartlett was trying to be aggressive, as the Rays usually are, figuring getting to third put him in position to score the tying run on a fly ball, or a ground ball or if a pitch gets past the catcher. And he was running on his own, as Maddon usually allows them to, though they had two of their best hitters coming up in Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria.

Bartlett didn't come close to making it, getting a bad jump against reliever Matt Thornton and thrown out by A.J. Pierzynski, who earlier threw out Crawford after catching only four of 59 previous attempted thieves. And that made it look worse when Crawford followed with a single.

"It su--- and all, but I want to stay aggressive in that situation," Bartlett said. ""It looks dumb now that C.C. got the base hit and I would have scored easy, but that's our game and we can't switch just because of that."

Maddon said he had no problem with the idea, noting that being aggressive has been a good thing many times, though he did question the execution, suggesting that when Bartlett realized he didn't have a good jump he could have pulled up, and also that B.J. Upton, who was on first, should have broken for second.

"We just messed that up on both sides," he said.

The Rays put themselves in that position. They got a decent start by David Price, marred only by a misplaced slider that Paul Konerko turned into a three-run home run, though he beat himself up afterward saying his performance was "unacceptable."

And they got three homers of their own — over the wall by Ben Zobrist (his 18th) and Longoria (his 19th) and an inside-the-parker by Crawford, a liner off the centerfield wall that caromed across the outfield for his career third, matching the most among active big-leaguers.

Then they got another chance in the ninth.

After two quick strikeouts against closer Bobby Jenks, they loaded the bases as Pat Burrell walked, Willy Aybar singled and pinch-hitter Gabe Gross walked.

Bartlett worked the count full, and fouled off a pitch, then struck out, as Jenks ran his career shutout streak against the Rays to 12 innings over 11 games.

"He's always tough," Bartlett said. "He threw some good pitches. I might have had one pitch to hit. He threw it where he wanted and when he wanted."

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays fall behind early, lose to Chicago White Sox 07/20/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2009 5:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

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

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494