by : Jay Recher
It looked to be smooth sailing as the Rays jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but if you're a Rays fan you know the deal.
Nothing is EVER easy with this team.
Derek Norris hit two home runs off of White Sox southpaw Derek Holland and Alex Colome came on for a four-out save as Tampa Bay defeated Chicago 7-5 on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.
Kevin Kiermaier gave the Rays the early lead with an RBI double in the 2nd, and then to lead off the 3rd, Norris drove a 2-0 pitch from Holland into the seats in left field to double the lead. The very next inning, Daniel Robertson got the rally started with a one-out single and Norris went deep once again to extend the Rays lead.
Three pitches later, Peter Bourjos hit a long home run to left to put Tampa Bay up 6-0. That was the 8th time this season that the Rays have hit back-to-back home runs.
In the 6th inning, Chicago started to claw their way back into it.
Avisail Garcia got the White Sox on the board with a 3-run homer to left in the 6th off of Odorizzi to cut the Rays lead in half. Then in the 8th, Todd Frazier hit a two-run shot to make it 6-5. Tim Anderson doubled and stole third to put the tying run 90 feet away, but Colome induced a flyball from pinch-hitter Omar Narvaez and the Rays breathed a sigh of relief.
Colby Rasmus hit a deep shot to right in the bottom half of the 8th to give Tampa Bay an ever-important insurance run.
Odorizzi went 6 2/3 innings giving up 8 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk and striking out 8. Holland threw four and two-thirds innings giving up nine hits, six runs, three walks and struck out two.
Evan Longoria added an RBI bloop single in the 3rd.
MORE ON THIS GAME TO COME!
KK Is Not OK : In an attempt to beat out a groundball in the 5th inning, Kiermaier slid feet-first into the bag at first base and had to leave the game with an injury. It was later announced that he had a jammed right hip and would need to be further evaluated.
What's Next For the Rays : The Rays are back in action tomorrow night as they welcome the Oakland Athletics to Tropicana Field for the first game of a four-game set. Tampa Bay will send RHP Alex Cobb (4-5, 4.52) to the mound and Oakland will counter with RHP Andrew Triggs (5-5, 3.36). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm with our coverage kicking things off at 6pm ONLY on 620WDAE and 95.3FM, Home of the Rays!!