By Scott Merkin and Troy Provost-Heron
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rookie Matt Andriese picked up his first career win and Joey Butler's three hits and two RBIs helped lead the Rays to a 7-5 victory over the White Sox in their series opener at Tropicana Field on Friday.
Tampa Bay scored two in the third and three in the sixth, taking advantage of some shoddy White Sox defense spread out throughout the contest.
Andriese (1-1) allowed just two unearned runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts. He received help from four relievers.
"Really good win tonight," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Good for Andriese, first Major League win. That's outstanding. I think we're all happy to be a part of that."
John Danks suffered the loss, giving up five runs on eight hits over 5 1/ 3 innings. Junior Guerra made his Major League debut in the seventh inning, and the 30-year-old White Sox rookie gave up one run on four hits over two innings. He also struck out Rene Rivera for his first career strikeout and finished with two overall.
"I felt good with what I had going, throwing strikes with multiple pitches, was down in the zone," said Danks, who struck out three, walked one and threw 94 pitches. "It's just one of those nights where it couldn't bounce my way."
To the White Sox credit, on a less than stellar night, they did fight back. Trailing 6-2 in the seventh, the South Siders scored three times on Alexei Ramirez' s groundout and Jose Abreu's home run off the right-field foul pole.
Abreu's 12th homer marked his third straight game with a long ball, also marking the first time in his career Abreu has gone deep in three straight games.
This loss ended a three-game winning streak for the White Sox.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Taking advantage: Andriese had not pitched for the Rays since May 9, but on Friday he made up for lost time in his first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Durham on Thursday. The rookie tossed a career-high 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs -- both unearned -- on six hits while striking out five en route to his first Major League win. More >
Manufactured offense: The White Sox played a little small ball to score the tying two runs in the fifth inning. Carlos Sanchez drew a one-out walk and then came around to score on Adam Eaton's bunt single, when Rivera threw the ball away. Eaton went to third and scored on Ramirez's sacrifice fly to center.
Put it just out of reach: With a one-run lead already in hand, the Rays pulled away with a three-run sixth inning. Jake Elmore kicked off the inning by reaching on an infield single and then Nick Franklin followed by reaching on an error by Abreu. The first strike came two batters later -- after Mikie Mahtook bunted the runners over -- when Rivera rolled one over to Sanchez, whose throw home was just a little late to get Elmore. Kevin Kiermaier, who pinch-hit for Brandon Guyer, made it 5-2 with a single up the middle, and then Butler delivered an RBI single -- his third single of the ballgame -- to cap off an inning that put the Rays far enough ahead to survive the Chicago rally. More >
The highs and lows of defense:Conor Gillaspie fell into the stands in foul territory to snare an Evan Longoria pop-up for the final out in the first. Then, with a runner on first and two outs in the fifth, Eaton made a diving catch in right-center off a Steven Souza Jr. line drive that would have scored Longoria if not grabbed. But during a three-run sixth, Abreu was charged with an error on a missed catch at first, Tyler Flowers had a passed ball and Eaton froze on Butler's line drive to center that produced a hit and a run.
"It was just one of those things where we were always a shade too far to one side or another in the infield," said White Sox bench coach Mark Parent, who is filling in for manager Robin Ventura this weekend, while Ventura attends his daughter's college graduation. "Not knowing this team a whole lot, we positioned them in what we thought would be the best way. We'll check it out again tomorrow and adjust from there. But sometimes you have to turn around and pitch according to your defense, too."
"It's baseball. They put the ball in play, made things happen and it worked out for them." -- Danks, on the Rays' victory
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With Friday's victory over Danks, the Rays have now won seven straight games -- and nine of their last 13 -- against left-handed pitching.
WHITE SOX LOSE CHALLENGE
In the sixth inning, with one out, the White Sox challenged a play at the plate where Elmore was ruled safe by home-plate umpire Gabe Morales on Rivera's slow roller to second. The call was confirmed by video review, with Elmore's great break off of third and his slide to the back of the plate making a difference.
White Sox:Jeff Samardzija (4-4, 4.93 ERA) tries to get things back on track when he takes the mound for Game 2 of this weekend three-game set on Saturday at 3:10 p.m. CT/4:10 p.m. ET. The right-hander has allowed 15 earned runs on 22 hits over his last 12 1/3 innings pitched.
Rays:Chris Archer (7-4, 1.84 ERA) will look to continue his stretch of spectacular pitching when he gets the start for the Rays. The right-hander has allowed just one run in 23 innings while striking out 38 over his last three starts that resulted in two wins and a no-decision. In two career starts against the White Sox, Archer is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.