White Sox send Rays to fourth loss in five games

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Freddy Garcia rebounded from a subpar start and beat one of baseball's top young pitchers.

Garcia outpitched David Price, and Alex Rios hit a two-run homer to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Friday night.

"He was great," Chicago bench coach Joey Cora said. "That's a great a ballclub over there. He was dominating. Great tempo. Threw strikes. Kept the ball down. Great everything."

Garcia (4-3) won for the fourth time in his last five starts, giving up two runs and four hits in seven innings. The right-hander was coming a loss Sunday to Florida where he was touched for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings.

"He might have some games like he did last time out," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "He's had two of those games, but don't let the numbers fool you with him. Every other game has been outstanding. What I mean by outstanding is he's given us a chance to win the game."

Garcia is 8-2 in his career against Tampa Bay. He struck seven out and walked two on Friday.

"Whatever happens, you've got to put it aside," Garcia said of last Sunday's outing.

The 24-year-old Price (7-2), coming up short in his bid to become the AL's first eight-game winner, allowed three runs, four hits, four walks and had four strikeouts over seven innings. His other loss this season also came against the White Sox in a 4-1 loss in Chicago on April 20.

"It's just fastball command," Price said. "I've got to get back to that. I've kind of lost that the last however many starts, and it's hurt. There were four walks and a hit by pitch, too. They don't show those on the scoreboard. I've got to figure some stuff out."

The Rays, with the major's best record at 33-16, have lost four of five.

"They have good pitching, we have good pitching," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "We kind of neutralize each other's offenses a little bit and somebody's got to get it done at some point."

Matt Thornton worked the final 1 1/3 innings for his second save. White Sox closer Bobby Jenks was not availble after tweaking his right calf during batting practice and is day to day.

Cora filled in for manager Ozzie Guillen, who was attending the high school graduation of his son, Ozney, in Florida.

"He is the face of the franchise," Cora said. "Obviously it's going to make a difference, especially here in the clubhouse, in the dugout. The way he handles himself and handles everybody. He's the guy that brings energy everyday."

Rios put Chicago ahead 2-1 in the fourth with his 10th homer. He has three home runs and seven RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.

Ramon Castro made it 3-1 with a fifth-inning solo homer. Gordon Beckman hit a run-scoring single in the ninth to extend the lead to 4-2.

The Rays went up 1-0 in the third when B.J. Upton tripled and scored on a single by Reid Brignac. Evan Longoria pulled Tampa Bay within 3-2 with an RBI double during the sixth.

Game notes
Price has lost all three career starts against the White Sox. ... Tampa Bay is 14-11 at home, compared a a road mark of 19-5. ... Maddon continued tinkering with his struggling lineup by dropping lead-off man Jason Bartlett -- who hit .189 in his previous 25 games -- to ninth. Ben Zobrist batted first for the third time this season. ... Chicago LF Juan Pierre stole his 19th stolen base of the season and has 478 in his career, which 40th on the all-time list. ... Upton started after being out of the lineup the past two games. He began the game hitting .154 in May. ... The White Sox released former major league LHP Alan Embree, who was with Triple-A Charlotte, from his minor league contract.