Mahtook single in 9th lifts Rays to 5-4 win over White Sox
CHICAGO (AP) If the Tampa Bay bench hadn't been so depleted, Mikie Mahtook might never have batted with two outs in the ninth inning
Instead, the rookie outfielder took advantage of his chance, hitting an RBI single that sent the Rays over the Chicago White Sox 5-4 Monday night.
''I had some opportunities earlier in the game that I didn't come through for us,'' Mahtook said. ''It's one of those things where you never want to fail.''
Had manager Kevin Cash not already used left-handed hitters Grady Sizemore - who stroked a game-tying solo homer in the eighth inning - and James Loney earlier, it's likely one of the two would have pinch hit for Mahtook against right-hander David Robertson (4-3).
''It paid off,'' Cash said. ''He came up with the bases loaded earlier in the game, probably swung at a pitch that was borderline, a pitcher's pitch, and grounded out to third.''
''But when you're talking about young players, you have to go through that a bit and it's nice that he came up there in that situation and got it done for us,'' he said.
Mahtook said Robertson ''left a slider up and I was able to put a good swing on it and it went through. It felt kind of good to redeem myself after those first two at-bats.''
The hit raised Mahtook's batting average to .188.
Evan Longoria had three hits and an RBI for the Rays.
Jake McGee (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth to get the win.
Brad Boxberger worked out of a jam in the ninth for his 27th save.
Jose Abreu and Carlos Sanchez each hit two-run homers for Chicago, which has dropped four of five.
''I just liked the fight we had,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ''You go down, you come back - Sanchez with a big homer and then we give up a couple.''
The White Sox tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth, but center fielder Kevin Kiermaier nailed Alexei Ramirez at the plate for the first out of the inning.
Ramirez led off with a single, stole second and tried to score on a single by Adam LaRoche. The throw home beat Ramirez by a wide margin, and he tried to vault over catcher Curt Casali but was tagged out..
''I got the ball and I peeked up at him and I (saw) they sent him,'' Kiermaier said. ''I told myself, `Just make a good, long, one-hop throw.' I short-hopped him and Curt made an unbelieveable pick. I've hugged him about seven times since the game ended.''
''Just a game of a ton of ups and downs, being happy and mad and frustrated. Just a crazy game to be a part of.''
Rays top prospect Richie Shaffer went 0 for 2 with a hit by pitch and a walk in four plate appearances. The first baseman left in the seventh of his first big league game.
''I was impressed,'' Cash said. ''It did not seem like he was over-amped whatsoever. I know he didn't have any plays other than a couple of popups, but his at-bats, watching his at-bats, selective at-bats. He's going to connect soon and when he does . You can tell why he hits the ball so hard.''
Rays: OF Desmond Jennings (left knee bursitis) was scheduled to play Monday night for Triple-A Durham in the third game of his rehab assignment. LHP Drew Smyly (torn left labrum) will make a rehab start on Thursday for Triple-A Durham.
White Sox: OF J.B. Shuck (strained left hamstring) will be eligible to be activated from the disabled list in two weeks and the team is hopeful he'll be ready. ''He's walking around, getting treatment,'' Ventura said, ''but we won't know more until they test it.''
Rays: RHP Chris Archer(9-8, 2.54 ERA) pitches the middle contest of the three-game series on Tuesday night.
White Sox: LHP Chris Sale (9-6, 3.20), who was roughed up for seven runs and a career-high 12 hits in his last start against the Red Sox.