Crede's bases-loaded sac fly gives White Sox fourth win in five games

White Sox 5, Devil Rays 4

CHICAGO (AP) -- Joe Crede had reason to feel good even before he drove in the winning run.

His balky back held up just fine. His swing looked pretty good, too.

And when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the ninth inning Friday night, Crede gave the White Sox just what they needed: A sacrifice fly that lifted Chicago to a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. It was the fourth win in five games for the White Sox.

Tampa Bay's Chad Orvella (0-2) pitched a scoreless eighth but left after walking Tadahito Iguchi and Jim Thome to start the ninth. Brian Stokes came in and struck out Jermaine Dye, but A.J. Pierzynski singled to right on an 0-2 pitch to load the bases.

Crede then drove in Iguchi with a fly to left on the first pitch, giving the White Sox their eighth win in their final at-bat this season.

"You know the pitcher was going to throw something off speed up there, and it was just a matter of getting underneath it, getting enough wood on it to get a hit or a sacrifice fly," said Crede, who had missed three games.

That made a winner of Bobby Jenks (2-1), who pitched a perfect ninth, and sent Tampa Bay to its sixth loss in seven games.

And for Crede, it was another indication that maybe -- just maybe -- he's breaking out of this season-long funk.

Friday's 2-for-4 performance brought his average to .223 -- still way behind last year's pace, when he hit .283 with 30 homers. He hit his fourth homer against the Cubs on May 19, but he left the game the next day when his back flared up and received a cortisone shot on Monday.

"Everything felt good," he said. "Playing defense was the biggest thing. You're bending over a lot for the pitches. Everything went well."

Luis Terrero gave Chicago a 3-1 lead in the fourth with a long three-run homer to left, and Tadahito Iguchi added an RBI single in the sixth. But it crumbled in the seventh, when Tampa Bay's Elijah Dukes hit a three-run homer off Mark Buehrle.

Jorge Cantu led off with a single and Buehrle hit Brendan Harris with two out. That drew a warning for both sides from plate umpire Jim Reynolds and a visit from manager Ozzie Guillen. It also set the stage for Dukes, who missed two games amid allegations by his estranged wife that he threatened to kill her and their two young children.

Dukes tied it at 4 when he sent a 1-0 pitch out to left for his ninth homer.

Buehrle retired the next batter, B.J. Upton, on a grounder, but got a no-decision in his fifth attempt at his 100th victory. He allowed four runs and eight hits while walking one and striking out four in his first start since he criticized Pierzynski for showing disrespect to backup catcher Toby Hall.

That stemmed from Pierzynski telling a radio host he was disappointed he wasn't in the lineup for the series opener last Friday against the crosstown rival Cubs, which spurred a profane on-air tirade by manager Ozzie Guillen.

Buehrle was in line for the win after Terrero sent a shot that fell just a few rows shy of the left-field concourse, an estimated 442 feet away, for his second homer.

Terrero scored from second after being hit by a pitch in the seventh, when Iguchi broke an 0-for-21 skid with a single to center off Devil Rays starter James Shields.

Shields allowed 10 hits, walked three and struck out two while hitting two batters and throwing two wild pitches.

The Devil Rays wasted an opportunity in the eighth, when Carl Crawford committed his second baserunning blunder of the game.

He led off with a single -- his third hit -- off pitcher Mike MacDougal's glove and stole second. But after MacDougal intentionally walked Delmon Young with one out, Matt Thornton came in and caught Crawford trying to steal third before striking out pinch hitter Greg Norton.

"We had the two men on and then the base running error happened," said Crawford, who also got caught in an inning-ending rundown trying to score in the fourth. "That kind of blew the air out of the balloon. We were still in the game, but we just couldn't pull it out. But it was nice to see Elijah do something good after all the negative stuff."

Dukes made a mistake in the third, when he stayed in the box rather than run out a dribbler in front of the plate, but he made up for it later.

Manager Joe Maddon said he lost sleep over the decision but put Dukes back into the lineup because "I felt it was time to move things along."

Game notes
Dye and Darin Erstad had two hits apiece for Chicago and extended their streaks to 12 and 11 games, respectively. ... Erstad started at first base for Paul Konerko, who had a death in the family. Guillen expects Konerko to play Saturday. ... The Devil Rays hope to activate 3B Akinori Iwamura (right oblique strain) from the 15-day disabled list in time for Monday's game against Detroit.