CHICAGO (AP) — What began as a breeze for Blake Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays turned into a nail-biter.
Snell pitched one-hit ball and struck out 10 through six innings and Tampa Bay held on to keep the White Sox winless at home this season, beating Chicago 6-5 on Tuesday.
The White Sox dropped to 0-5 at Guaranteed Rate Field. That matched Chicago’s five-game home skid to start 1975 at Comiskey Park.
Jose Abreu hit a three-run homer off Rays closer Alex Colome, capping a four-run rally in the ninth. After a two-out walk, Colome got Omar Narvaez to line out and got his third save in five chances.
“Alex, he’s not right as maybe we’ve see him the past, but he got the job done,” manager Kevin Cash said. “And coming off eight losses in a row, it really doesn’t matter. Just find a way to win.”
The Rays escaped with their second straight one-run victory after dropping eight straight.
Carlos Gomez hit a solo homer and Joey Wendle, Wilson Ramos, Adeiny Hechavarria and Daniel Robertson each drove in a run as Tampa Bay built a 6-1 lead and carried it into the ninth.
Snell (1-1) didn’t allow a hit until Tyler Saladino’s double bounced over the left-center field wall with one out in the fifth inning. The 6-foot-5 left-hander was charged with Chicago’s first run and walked five before his pitch count climbed to 114 and Andrew Kittridge replaced him to start the seventh.
“If we’re being honest, there was some good and not so good,” Cash said. “The strikeouts were great. The pitch efficiency, we’ve got to get better.”
Snell rebounded after getting roughed up for five runs in 3 1/3 innings by the New York Yankees last Wednesday. The 25-year-old had a no-decision in his first start, on March 30 versus Boston, when he allowed no runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Snell lamented getting ahead of hitters, then letting them back into the count in this one.
“I felt good, but overall frustrated a little bit with the command issues,” Snell said. “All my pitches were working well. I need to be nasty in the zone.”
Snell finished 2017 strong, going 5-1 with a 3.02 ERA in his last nine starts. During that stretch, the lefty won three times when he allowed just two hits in seven innings.
Saladino had two of Chicago’s six hits and Adam Engel and Yolmer Sanchez drove in runs for the White Sox, losers of seven of eight.
Carson Fulmer (0-1) struggled with his control, allowing four runs over 4 2/3 innings while walking six and hitting two batters.
“Walks are a really big thing for me and pride myself on a lot,” Fulmer said. “Obviously, there were six of them, and that can’t happen. I have to do a better job of attacking guys.”
Manager Rick Renteria said the late rally gave his team some confidence, but added “we certainly haven’t played in general the best five games that we’ve had in our time here.”
Robertson and Denard Span walked to start the third, and both scored when Wendle’s sharp single to left rolled under Nicky Delmonico’s glove for an error.
Hechavarria’s sacrifice fly in the fourth made it 3-0 and Ramos had an RBI single in the fifth.
Gomez homered in the sixth off Hector Santiago.
Tampa Bay acquired OF Jeremy Hazelbaker from Arizona for cash. The Rays transferred RHP Jose De Leon (Tommy John surgery) to the 60-day disabled list.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier was available off the bench on Tuesday and Cash expects him to return to the lineup on Wednesday. The outfielder was in a walking boot on Monday after bruising his right foot on Sunday.
White Sox: C Wellington Castillo left the game in the sixth with right knee soreness and is day-to-day. He was replaced by Narvaez. . Fulmer had a welt below his right kneecap, where he was struck by a batted ball in the fifth inning. He considered the injury to be minor.
Rays: Cash announced after the game that RHP Yonny Chirinos (0-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the season Wednesday afternoon in Chicago. He’s not allowed a run in nine innings so far.
White Sox: RHP James Shields (1-0, 5.73) makes his third start this season and fourth of his career versus Tampa Bay, where he spent the first seven years of his career. Shields is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA against his former team.