Smith 4 Hits Helps Rays Snap 8 Game Losing Streak

After a 20 minute snow delay before the first pitch, it took Rays Outfielder Mallex Smith matching a career-high with four hits but the Tampa Bay Rays ended their eight game losing streak with a 5-4 win in Chicago over the White Sox.  Rays Pitcher Chris Archer wasn’t sharp but did get his first win of the year, while Closer Alex Colume got through a second & third no outs jam by getting three straight groundouts to end the game.

The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Outfielder Carlos Gomez hit a two-out single off the wall in leftfield, was pushed to second after a walk to First Baseman C.J. Cron & scored on Third Baseman Matt Duffy’s infield single.  And although he was giving that lead, Archer struggled in the bottom of the inning, walking two, hitting a batter & then allowing a sacrifice rbi fly ball to White Sox Outfielder Yolmer Sanchez.  Archer needed 25 pitches in the bottom of the first to get out of the inning.

The Rays came back in the top second & threatened when with one out Outfielder Mallex Smith singled & took third when Designated Hitter Rob Refsnyder followed Smith with another single.  But Outfielder Denard Span lined out to second & Second Baseman Joey Wendle groundout to second ending the threat.

With the score still 1-1 in the top of the fourth, Smith again was a part of a Rays potential rally & this time the visitors got a run across when with one out Second Baseman Daniel Robertson walked & scored on Smith’s run scoring triple.  Unfortunately for the Rays, one batter later Smith was out at the plate, trying to score on Refsnyder’s ground ball to short.

Trailing 2-1 the White Sox got runners on the corners in their half of the fourth, but Archer struck out Catcher Omar Narvaez to end the inning.  And in the top of the fifth, the Rays picked up two more runs when Wendle led off the inning with a solo home run, his first with Tampa Bay.  And Duffy drove in his second run of the game with another single, one out after Gomez’s double to right-center. 

The Rays had a chance to add to their 4-1 lead in the same inning but just like Smith, Duffy, after his rbi hit, was gunned down at the plate, trying to score on a single to center by Catcher Wilson Ramos.  And the Rays three-run lead became one again because Archer, like he did in the bottom of the first inning, gave up the runs the Rays added in the top of the inning when White Sox Leftfielder Nicky Delmonico unloaded a two-run homerun to right. 

In the top of the sixth, the Rays picked up a single run & again it was Smith, who was a part of the action.  Smith singled to lead off the inning, advanced to second then to third after a wild pitch & stolen base.  And after Refsnyder struck out, Span singled to right, bringing Smith in.  But for the third time in the afternoon against Archer, the White Sox answered the Rays top half of the inning run, when they scored a run on a run scoring double by Narvaez, to make the score 5-4.

The Rays will look to get their first winning streak of the season when the two teams do battle again on the South Side of Chicago on Tuesday.  Lefty Blake Snell (0-1 5.00) gets the start for the Rays while Chicago counters with Lakeland's own Carson Fulmer (0-0 5.40).  First pitch is at 2:10 pm & coverage begins with the Rays Radio Network Pre-Game Show at 1:30 pm.

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