Published November 20, 2014
CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Pena drove in four runs and the Rays took advantage of Jake Peavy's wildness to beat the Chicago White Sox 10-2 on Thursday night, capping the winningest road trip in Tampa Bay history.
The Rays, who were 32-49 on the road last year, have never finished a season with a winning record away from Tropicana Field. But they went 9-1 on their first trip this year, outscoring their opponents (Baltimore, Boston and Chicago) by a total of 69-23.
James Shields (2-0) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings for the Rays (12-4), off to the best start in their 13-year history. Pat Burrell, Reid Brignac and Carl Crawford drove in two runs each.
Peavy (0-1), acquired from San Diego last July 31 in a much-hyped trade, set a career high with seven walks while also giving up seven hits and seven runs in 4 1-3 innings.
In the first year of the $52 million contract extension he signed while with the Padres, Peavy has a 7.66 ERA in four starts. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner was hurt when Chicago got him last year and wasn't able to pitch until September, when the team was out of the AL Central race.
The rotation was supposed to be the club's strength, but White Sox starters have a 5.58 ERA — which explains why they are in last place at 5-11. Tampa Bay starters, meanwhile, lead the majors with a 2.67 ERA.
Not even manager Ozzie Guillen's pep talk after Wednesday's 12-0 loss could spark the White Sox, who have dropped six of their last seven games and have yet to win a series this season.
A.J. Pierzynski's RBI grounder and Mark Teahen's second-inning homer put the White Sox up 2-0, but Peavy quickly blew the lead.
Walks to Jason Bartlett and Ben Zobrist sandwiched Crawford's single, loading the bases with nobody out to start the third. One out later, Peavy walked Pena to force in a run. After B.J. Upton struck out, Burrell's two-run single gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead.
Pena singled to open the fifth and went to third on Upton's double. A walk to Burrell loaded the bases before Brignac's two-run single chased Peavy. Randy Williams got Bartlett to pop out but gave up Crawford's two-run double to make it 7-2.
Pena added a three-run double in the eighth, giving him 18 RBIs.
Zobrist doubled twice, singled, walked and scored twice to snap out of a 3-for-26 slump.
NOTES: The Rays won eight games in 2004 on their previous best trip. ... Rays RHP Matt Garza returned home to be with his wife Thursday for the birth of their son but is expected to make his scheduled start Friday vs. Toronto. At 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA, Garza has been the AL's best pitcher. ... Crawford batted .385 on the trip. ... White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham (2-for-17 slump) and CF Alex Rios (5 for 27 career vs. Shields) weren't in the lineup for the first time this year. ... White Sox RF Carlos Quentin was dropped from third to sixth in the batting order but went 0 for 3 and is hitless in his last 23 at-bats. Asked before the game if he was trying to take pressure off Quentin or gain production for the team, Guillen said: "Try to give him less pressure. More production, I don't think we're going to get it the way he's swinging." ... Chicago's Juan Pierre got his 466th stolen base, moving into 43rd place on the career list.