Rays beat White Sox 8-4; McHugh earns first save

Sports

Tampa Bay Rays’ Yandy Diaz, center, and Wander Cruz head for the dugout after scoring on an RBI-double hit by Brandon Lowe off Chicago White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Brandon Lowe, Manuel Margot and Joey Wendle each had two hits and two RBIs, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 8-4 on Saturday.

Wander Franco also had two hits and scored twice as Tampa Bay won for the fifth time in six games. The top prospect has reached base in 23 consecutive games.

Luis Patiño (3-3) pitched six innings of two-run ball, and Collin McHugh got five outs for his first career save.

The AL East-leading Rays finished with 11 hits while scoring at least eight runs for the 11th time in 15 games.

José Abreu had two hits for Chicago, which rallied for a 7-5 victory in the opener of the weekend series between AL powers. Eloy Jiménez drove in two runs.

A lucky bounce helped the Rays score three runs in the first inning against Dallas Keuchel (8-7). With two on and two out, Franco hit a ground ball that bounced off third base and over the head of third baseman Yoán Moncada, allowing Nelson Cruz to score from second. Lowe followed with a two-run double.

“I think it was just good luck,” Franco said of his first hit. “That gave us a vibe right away that we had the feeling we were going to win. That’s when good things happen.”

AL Central-leading Chicago trimmed Tampa Bay’s lead to 6-4 with two runs in the eighth, but the Rays responded with two in the bottom half. Margot doubled home Lowe, and Wendle had a run-scoring groundout.

Keuchel was charged with six runs and nine hits in five innings. The veteran left-hander dropped to 1-4 in his last seven starts.

“Six of the nine hits were on the ground today. Things didn’t bounce my way,” Keuchel said. “It seemed like we were one or two inches away from a couple of double plays that could have changed the game.”

Patiño allowed five hits, including Seby Zavala’s fifth homer in the third. He struck out five and walked one.

“We all understood they are leading their division, and I like facing teams like that,” Patiño said. “It helps me focus.”

The 34-year-old McHugh retired each of his five batters in his 237th big league appearance. It was the 17th straight appearance in which McHugh has not given up an earned run.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: OF Luis Robert got the day off.

Rays: RHP Ryan Thompson (right shoulder inflammation) reported a stiff shoulder after Wednesday’s six-inning rehab outing. Thompson’s last major league appearance was on June 27.

ARCHER SET TO RETURN

Veteran right-hander Chris Archer will rejoin the Tampa Bay rotation Sunday after missing four months.

“Obviously I had some physical ailments and those were half the battle,” said Archer, whose problems started with right forearm tightness. “And then I had some mental ailments which were a battle as well.”

Archer began a rehab assignment on July 12.

“My stuff feels great, and I’m ready to get out there and put it on display,” he said. “I’m not built all the way to 100 pitches yet, but … I don’t focus on getting 15 outs. I’ll focus on getting one at a time.”

UP NEXT

Archer (0-1, 6.23 ERA) will make his first start since April 10 in Sunday’s series finale. Reynaldo López (2-0, 1.08 ERA) pitches for Chicago.

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