ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- Daniel Palka's first four trips to the plate ended the same way: with a strikeout. The fifth was much different.
The designated hitter's two-run homer off Diego Castillo broke a 6-6 tie and helped the Chicago White Sox hold on for an 8-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, capping a three-game sweep at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay started the scoring off James Shields in the bottom of the first, with Mallex Smith leading off with a base hit and after Matt Duffy grounded into a fielder's choice, erasing Smith at second, Jake Bauers drew walk and Joey Wendle followed with a base hit to left that scored Duffy for a 1-0 lead.
But the Rays could not get a shutdown inning from their pitching staff, as Hunter Wood walked Avisail Garcia, who stole second, went to third on a ground out by Leury Garcia, and scored on a single from Tim Anderson.
The Rays jumped back out to a 3-1 lead in the third on a bunt single by Wendle that allowed Bauers to score when the throw from catcher Dustin Garneau went in to right field, and Ji-Man Choi followed with a sacrifice fly. However, Chicago again prevented the shutdown inning, and thanks to singles by Anderson and Garneau, were able to knot the game back up.
The White Sox took a 5-3 lead in the fifth on the first of two home runs on the afternoon by Avisail Garcia, both coming off left-hander Ryan Yarbrough. Wendle connected with a solo shot off Shields in the bottom of the fifth, his sixth of the year, to cut the deficit back to 5-4, but Garcia extended the lead back to a pair of runs with his second homer of the day.
Xavier Cedeno came on for the sixth, and Tampa Bay immediately loaded the bases with nobody out, allowing singles to Smith and Duffy and walking Bauers. Rays manager Kevin Cash then brought C.J. Cron in to pinch-hit for Wendle, forcing White Sox skipper to go to Jeanmar Gomez. Cron struck out, but Choi picked up his teammate with a two-run single to tie the game
After working a scoreless eighth inning, Castillo appeared to be on the brink of sending things to the bottom of the ninth tied after getting Yoan Moncada to ground out and striking out Yolmer Sanchez, but Jose Abreu singled in front of Jake Bauers in left, and Palka took the first pitch he saw and sent it on to the Porch in straightaway center for his 17th home run of the season.
Tampa Bay again would not go quietly in the ninth, with Cron leading off against Hector Santiago by doubling and scoring on a one-out double by Kiermaier to again make it a one-run game, but after Brandon Lowe walked to put a pair of runners on, Santiago got Jesus Sucre to ground into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play to finish off the sweep.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles, 7:10 p.m. first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars.
Rays starter - RHP Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 4.27 ERA)
Orioles starter - TBA