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Spooked at an old haunt


Spooked at an old haunt
Jim Thome's hotel television changed channels three times Friday afternoon -- by itself.

And OK, manager Ozzie Guillen swore he locked the door on his hotel deck before he went to bed Thursday night, only to wake up to find it unlocked.

But before the White Sox worry about exorcising ghosts at the historic -- but believed to be very haunted -- Vinoy Hotel where the team stays in St. Petersburg, they had better worry about the demons that still haunt them at Tropicana Field.

Friday night's 6-5 heartbreaker was the seventh loss to the Rays since last season, including the postseason. The Sox held the lead at some point in six of those games.

''That's what a good team does,'' Guillen said of the Rays. ''They're not going to give up -- they learned that. They believe in themselves. That's not the first time they came back and won the game. They have the potential to do it. In this ballpark, anyone can hit home runs. You're always in a tough position in this ballpark.''

Some teams are in tougher spots than others. Ben Zobrist's pinch-hit grand slam off reliever Matt Thornton in the sixth inning spoiled a 5-2 Sox lead in the second game of a four-game series and dropped their season record to 5-5.

''Things were going smoothly there -- almost too smoothly against Tampa -- and as it turned out they just busted it open and that was that,'' captain Paul Konerko said. ''They're not going to go away.

''Besides having a lot of talent, which always helps, they play the game right, they work hard within the game, and that doesn't go away. Ozzie's right: That doesn't go away. You can tell their spirit is kind of where it was last year. They are fighting to the end, a lot of late-inning victories. They still got that rolling even though we beat them [Thursday] night.''

Early on, it looked like the Sox were well on their way to at least earning a split in the series, as Bartolo Colon was given a 2-1 lead in the third after Chris Getz's RBI double and Josh Fields' RBI ground out.

The Rays (5-6) tied the game in the fifth, but the Sox did what they do best an inning later with a pair of homers. Carlos Quentin led off the inning with a shot off starter James Shields (2-1). After a Thome single, Jermaine Dye also went deep, putting the Sox up by three.

However, with two out and Evan Longoria on second, Colon ran into trouble with a single and then a walk to load the bases. Out of the bullpen came Thornton, and out of the dugout came Zobrist.

''I went to the best lefty I had in the bullpen, and the best matchup,'' Guillen said. ''They pinch-hit with Zobrist, and I expect that, but still, you got to come with the best matchup. We would have liked to keep Bartolo in the game, but we're not going to go crazy with Bartolo. He's thrown real well the last two outings, and we've got to keep him like that. The bullpen just failed, but that happens. My best man was out there for that at-bat, but he just couldn't get it done.''

Thornton credited Zobrist.

''The situation right there is fun to come into, but they are the toughest ones you're going to face,'' Thornton said. ''Pinch hitter swinging, you have to go out there and attack him and see what happens. [Friday], he wins.''

And the hauntings in St. Pete continue.

Comment at suntimes.com.

THE RECAP

AT THE PLATE

The Sox seemed to have the Rays on the ropes in the sixth inning after a solo home run by Carlos Quentin and a two-run homer from Jermaine Dye put them ahead 5-2. It wasn't enough.

On the mound

Bartolo Colon was cruising through the first five innings, but after he loaded the bases and was pulled for left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, win No. 2 was nabbed from him by one swing when pinch hitter Ben Zobrist hit a grand slam.

Pivotal point

Zobrist's slam was the obvious turning point, but the Sox had Rays starter James Shields, arguably one of their better pitchers, in trouble in the third inning, only to come away with just two runs. Not delivering in the clutch continues to catch up with the Sox .

BOXSCORE

SOX AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Getz 2b 4 0 2 1 1 0 .269

Fields 3b 5 0 0 1 0 1 .306

Quentin lf 4 1 1 1 0 1 .257

Thome dh 4 1 2 0 0 0 .206

1-Owens pr-dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Dye rf 4 1 1 2 0 3 .385

Konerko 1b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .306

Pierzynski c 4 1 1 0 0 0 .273

AL.Ramirez ss 3 0 0 0 1 1 .143

Bri.Anderson cf 2 1 1 0 1 0 .214

b-Betemit ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 .286

2-Lillibridge pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 .077

Totals 35 5 9 5 3 6

Tampa Bay AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

B.Upton cf 3 0 1 0 1 1 .176

Crawford lf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .222

Longoria 3b 4 1 1 0 0 0 .421

C.Pena 1b 4 1 1 1 0 1 .286

Burrell dh 4 1 1 0 0 0 .216

Navarro c 3 2 1 0 1 0 .222

Gross rf 2 0 0 0 0 0 .167

a-Zobrist ph-rf 2 1 2 4 0 0 .273

Iwamura 2b 4 0 1 0 0 2 .324

Bartlett ss 2 0 1 1 1 0 .395

Totals 32 6 9 6 3 5

SOX 002 003 000--5 9 0

Tampa Bay 010 014 00x--6 9 0

a-homered for Gross in the 6th. b-singled for Bri.Anderson in the 9th.

1-ran for Thome in the 8th. 2-ran for Betemit in the 9th.

LOB-- SOX 6, Tampa Bay 5. 2B--Getz (3), Pierzynski (1), Longoria (5), Navarro (3), Iwamura (5), Bartlett (3). HR--Quentin (5), off J.Shields; Dye (4), off J.Shields; C.Pena (6), off Colon; Zobrist (2), off Thornton. RBI--Getz (1), Fields (6), Quentin (9), Dye 2 (8), C.Pena (13), Zobrist 4 (7), Bartlett (4). SB--Owens (1), Lillibridge 2 (3), Bartlett (5).

Runners moved up--Getz, Fields. GIDP--Fields. Runners left in scoring position-- SOX 5 (Quentin, Fields 3, Konerko); Tampa Bay 3 (B.Upton, Crawford 2).

DP--Tampa Bay 1 (Longoria, Iwamura, C.Pena).

SOX IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

Colon 5.2 6 5 5 1 4 92 3.86

Thornton 0 2 1 1 1 0 14 2.25

L,0-1 BS,1

MacDougal 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 12.46

Richard 2.1 1 0 0 0 1 25 3.18

Tampa Bay IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

J.Shields W, 2-1 7.1 7 5 5 2 4 101 4.58

Shouse 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 3.00

Wheeler H, 1 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 7 9.82

Percival S, 2-2 1 1 0 0 1 1 15 6.75

Shouse pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.

Thornton pitched to 3 batters in the 6th.

MacDougal pitched to 1 batter in the 6th.

Inherited runners-scored--Thornton 3-3, MacDougal 2-0, Richard 3-0, Wheeler 1-0. WP--Thornton.

Umpires--Home, C.B. Bucknor; First, Mike Everitt; Second, Gerry Davis; Third, Brian Gorman

. T--2:45. A--28,927.

HOW THEY SCORED

Rays second Pena homered to center on a 1-2 count. One run. Rays 1, White Sox 0.

White Sox third Pierzynski doubled. A.Ramirez popped out. Anderson singled, Pierzynski to third. Getz doubled, Pierzynski scored, Anderson to third. Fields grounded out, Anderson scored. Two runs. White Sox 2, Rays 1.

Rays fifth Navarro doubled. Gross flied out. Iwamura flied out. Bartlett doubled, Navarro scored. One run. Rays 2, White Sox 2.

White Sox sixth Quentin homered to left on the first pitch. Thome infield single. Dye homered to left on a 1-0 count, Thome scored. Three runs. White Sox 5, Rays 2.

Rays sixth Crawford popped out. Longoria doubled. Pena struck out. Burrell infield single, Longoria to third. Navarro walked, Burrell to second. Thornton pitching. Zobrist pinch-hitting for Gross. Zobrist homered to left on a 1-1 count, Longoria scored, Burrell scored, Navarro scored. Four runs. Rays 6, White Sox 5.

TONIGHT:

at Rays

- 6:08 p.m., Ch. 9, 670-AM

Sox starter: Mark Buehrle 1-0, 2.38

'08 vs. Rays: 0-1, 4.58

Career vs. Rays: 6-2, 4.24

How Rays have fared: Carl Crawford 10-for-21; B.J. Upton 5-for-13; Jason Bartlett 6-for-27

Rays starter: Scott Kazmir 2-0, 2.84

'08 vs. Sox : 1-0, 2.08

Career vs. Sox : 3-1, 3.34

How Sox have fared: Jermaine Dye 5-for-15, 2 HR;

Paul Konerko 4-for-12; Jim Thome 0-for-13


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 18, 2009

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