TAMPA BAY (Reuters) - The Chicago White Sox snapped a seven-game losing streak by clobbering the Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 at Tropicana Field on Thursday.
Chicago lead-off hitter Juan Pierre wreaked havoc with his speed, bunting safely twice and using his pace to score three runs.
Pierre led off the game with a bunt single and his speed forced an errant throw from third baseman Felipe Lopez, allowing Pierre to advance to third base on the error. He scored on a ground out by Omar Vizquel
In the third, Pierre again bunted safely sparking a nine-batter, four-run inning that stretched Chicago's lead to 5-0. They added one more run against Rays starter Jeff Niemann in the fifth inning.
"There was a big guy on the mound, so I was like: 'I'll try to get some bunts down and try to create things,'" Pierre said. "If I'm struggling personally and don't get any bunt attempts, that doesn't work in my favor. I tried to make it a point today to go out there and get some bunt attempts, but to get some hits also. It worked out well for us."
Niemann allowed five runs on six hits while striking out four and walking two in 4.2 innings, dropping his record to 0-3 on the season.
White Sox starter Floyd Gavin pitched six innings allowing two runs and two walks while striking out four for his second win.
Chicago added two more runs in the sixth inning and one more in the eighth to complete the scoring.
"Eventually those add-on runs in the fifth and sixth hurt us, and that takes a little steam out of our momentum," said Tampa bay manager Joe Maddon. "I thought we did a lot of things well tonight. They just beat us."
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by Peter Rutherford)