When starting pitchers go down with injuries, it can be a problem for an organization to fill those holes. But the Chicago White Sox continue to prove that rotational replacements can make a huge impact. One day after Scott Carroll’s win in his major league debut, Andre Rienzo led the White Sox to 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, improving his season record to 2-0 along the way.
The game began on a difficult note for Rienzo, who made his second 2014 start since being recalled on April 19 to take the rotation spot of the injured Felipe Paulino. After giving up a double on the first pitch of the ballgame, Rienzo bobbled a bunt and threw the ball past first baseman Jose Abreu, leading to an unearned run. The Rays scored once more before the inning ended, forcing Rienzo to pitch from behind from the beginning. After that chaotic first inning, Rienzo settled down and ended up tossing six innings of five-hit, three-run (two earned) ball.
Rienzo got a big boost from the White Sox offense when the team took the lead on a clutch hit by another injury replacement, rookie Marcus Semien. Filling in for DL-seated Conor Gillaspie, Semien’s two-out double drove in Alexei Ramirez to put the White Sox ahead 4-3. Though he has a .230 batting average on the season, Semien is hitting .428 with 10 RBIs with runners in scoring position and two outs.
The White Sox host the Detroit Tigers for a two-game set starting tomorrow. The two teams split a four-game series in Detroit last week, and because of the Tigers’ rain out yesterday, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer are scheduled to start Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Both pitchers beat the White Sox during that set in Detroit, and the White Sox fanned a combined 17 times in 13 innings against the two, while scoring just four runs.
Taking three of four from the Rays and ending the series with back-to-back wins gives the White Sox momentum heading into those two tough matchups.