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Rays 1, White Sox 2: One out away from a win, Rays drop the series in extras

The offense’s lack of production once again ends up hurting the Rays despite a strong effort from the pitching staff

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to put last night’s disaster of a game behind them, the Rays set their sights on evening the series against the White Sox tonight.

Ryan Yarbrough, who behind Ryne Stanek was nearly perfect in his last outing against the Baltimore Orioles, started this game with no opener in front of him. Chicago’s ace Lucas Giolito, who is having a strong bounce-back season after being arguably the worst pitcher in baseball last year, took the mound tonight for the White Sox.

Yarbrough worked a very strong first inning, striking out Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu.

This game was a fantastic pitcher’s duel, with Giolito and Yarbrough each striking out four hitters through their first four innings of work. Through his first four innings, Ryan Yarbrough was perfect while throwing only 53 pitches. James McCann recorded the first hit for the White Sox in the top of the fifth inning, but Yarbrough made sure to strand McCann on the bases, keeping this game scoreless.

Austin Meadows did his job in trying to keep this game scoreless with an absolutely sensational catch in right field on a blooper that hung up just enough.

The Rays offense threatened in the bottom of the sixth after Ji-Man Choi hit a leadoff single and Austin Meadows followed suit, putting two on with no outs for Tommy Pham. Pham struck out and Nate Lowe followed Pham, but Lowe popped out. Yandy Diaz grounded out to end the inning, keeping this game scoreless.

Ryan Yarbrough’s day was done after six fantastic innings of work, allowing only two hits while striking out five. Yarbrough threw 75 pitches with 53 of them for strikes. With Chicago’s 3-4-5 batters looming, Kevin Cash decided against having Yarbrough see those batters for a third time, so Diego Castillo was called upon to pitch the top of the seventh.

Castillo allowed a leadoff single to Jose Abreu, but Castillo got James McCann to ground into a double play before getting Wellington Castillo to ground out and end the inning, sending this scoreless game into the bottom of the seventh.

Avisail Garcia led off the inning for the Rays, and on the very first pitch, put the Rays on the board with an absolute mammoth home run right into the 2008 AL East Champions banner.

With an exit velocity of 111 mph and a launch angle of 34 degrees, Statcast estimates that Garcia’s home run went 459 feet. Similar to a home run hit by Marcell Ozuna two years ago into the 2011 Wild Card banner (which went 468 feet), Garcia’s home run was loud and went far and most importantly gave the Rays a 1-0 lead.

Giolito’s day was done after 6.2 innings of work and he was very good, striking out nine and allowing one run on Garcia’s home run. Aaron Bummer relieved Giolito to record the final out in the bottom of the seventh.

Oliver Drake was called upon to pitch in the eighth after Castillo’s good inning of work. Drake allowed a one-out single but ultimately worked around that hit and a walk to end the inning with a strikeout and keep the White Sox off of the board.

Kevin Kiermaier led off the bottom of the eighth with an infield single, but hurt himself in the process when he slid into first base and jammed his thumb into the bag. Kiermaier immediately exited the game and the Rays announced that Kiermaier suffered a left thumb sprain.

Colin Poche entered this game in the top of the ninth and struck out the only batter he faced, Yoan Moncada, throwing only four pitches in this appearance. Emilio Pagan was brought in to close this game out by facing Jose Abreu and James McCann. Pagan struck out Abreu, but allowed a solo home run to McCann, tying this game at 1-1. If the Rays want to wanted this one, they were gonna have to walk it off.

Avisail Garcia drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth with Evan Marshall pitching for the White Sox. Joey Wendle hit a single up the middle to put two runners on with no outs for Willy Adames. Adames placed down a bunt but the lead runner was thrown out at third, so Mike Zunino had runners on first and second with one out. Zunino grounded into a double play to end the inning, sending this game into extra innings.

Adam Kolarek came in to pitch the top of the 10th, allowing two singles in-between recording two outs. Kolarek struck out Leury Garcia looking to end the inning. The Rays did nothing in the bottom of the 10th, bringing the White Sox back up in the top of the 11th. Kolarek allowed a leadoff walk to Yoan Moncada and his day was done when Chaz Roe entered the game to face Jose Abreu.

Moncada timed up Roe perfectly with a 2-1 count and stole second base, but while Moncada was running, Abreu hit a weak chopper into right field and Moncada never stopped running, scoring all the way from first and giving the White Sox a 2-1 lead. Roe got out of the inning without allowing any additional runs.

Alex Colomé entered the game for the White Sox looking to close this one out, and Colomé did just that. Avisail Garcia drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but a strikeout by Joey Wendle and a flyout by Willy Adames stranded Garcia, ending this game in the 11th.

The offense’s lack of production since the start of the New York series has been nothing but inexcusable, and once again tonight the Rays could not put up a meaningful amount of runs to give them the edge.

The pitching staff pitched their hearts out tonight and did a terrific job, making it very hard to put any blame on them for the loss, especially after the offense went 0-for-8 tonight with runners in scoring position. One run in 11 innings simply will not win most baseball games, just like the Rays showed tonight, dropping the series against the White Sox.

The Rays will look to not get swept tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm with Blake Snell pitching for the Rays against Dylan Cease and the White Sox.