ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays have seen this story far too often over the last week.
The bullpen could not hold another one-run lead in the ninth inning, and Jose Abreu's RBI single in the top of the 11th inning broke a 1-1 tie, giving the Chicago White Sox a 2-1 win over the Rays Saturday at Tropicana Field.
Both Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough and White Sox hurler Lucas Giolito had string performances. Yarbrough, who took a combined perfect game bid into the ninth inning in his last appearance in Baltimore, retired the first 12 Chicago hitters he faced before James McCann singled to begin the fifth inning. He would allow only one other hit and no runs in six full innings of work. Giolito matched Yarbrough through the first six innings, but faltered in the seventh, leaving a changeup up at the top of the strike zone to Avisail Garcia, and the outfielder smacked it off the 2008 American League East Championship banner hanging above the D ring in left-center for his 13th home run of the year.
Diego Castillo and Oliver Drake each provided a scoreless inning of relief, and Colin Poche struck out Yoan Moncada to start the ninth. Pagan then struck out Jose Abreu for the second out, and got ahead of James McCann 0-1, but left a slider out over the plate, and the White Sox catcher was able to put it into the seats in left to tie the game.
The Rays had a chance to walk off in the bottom of the ninth against Evan Marshall, as Garcia walked and Joey Wendle singled him up a base, but Willy Adames' laid down a poor bunt, wwhich allowed Marshall to force Garcia at third base, and Mike Zunino grounded into a double play to kill off the rally.
Chicago scored the go-ahead run in crazy fashion, as Adam Kolarek walked Moncada to start the inning, and on a 2-1 pitch, the third baseman broke for second, and Abreu chopped the ball through the vacated right side of the infield. With Mike Brosseau, in right field after an injury to Kevin Kiermaier in the ninth inning, playing deep, Moncada came all the way around from first base to break the tie.
The loss is Tampa Bay's fifth straight, a new season-worst, and drops them to two games behind both Cleveland and Oakland for a wild card berth.