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White Sox preview vs. Rays

Here come the White Sox

Season series: Rays lead 6-4, 4-3 at Trop.

Need to know: The Sox staggered through the final week before winning twice to force Tuesday's one-game playoff. MVP candidate OF Carlos Quentin (fractured wrist) and 3B Joe Crede (back) remain sidelined. 2B Alexei Ramirez ranks second to Rays 3B Evan Longoria among AL rookies with 21 homers. The Sox lead the majors with 235 home runs and have had 11 games of four or more. Ken Griffey joined their cast of sluggers in a July 31 trade.

Did you know? The Sox are the first team in major-league history to win its last three games of the season against three different opponents, beating the Indians, Tigers and Twins.

Stat to know: The Sox are 4-16 on artificial turf, the worst record in the majors.

Faces to know: C A.J. Pierzynski is a noted instigator, as the Rays saw with his deft moves on the bases that led to an Aug. 24 loss. C Toby Hall is an ex-Ray, as is manager Ozzie Guillen.

What Joe Maddon knows: The White Sox, to me, offensively are similar to the Tigers in the sense they want to hit the ball to the wall all the time. They're not the kind of team that necessarily creates as much as maybe the Twins do. … Pitching staff-wise, the White Sox obviously are a little more battle-tested. They always have good starting pitching. … (Closer) Bobby Jenks is still one of the best. … The White Sox are a more experienced group.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

White Sox preview vs. Rays 09/30/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 4:51pm]
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