Ramirez, 3 homers help Rays stop White Sox, 7-2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Three home runs helped the Tampa Bay Rays shake their slump Saturday night.
Brandon Guyer homered to end Tampa Bay's scoreless drought, Brad Miller added a two-run shot and the Rays stopped Chicago's five-game winning streak with a 7-2 victory over the White Sox.
Miller added a run-scoring double, giving him his first three RBIs with the Rays.
''The biggest thing, being a new guy, is you want to contribute. You want to earn your teammates' and coaches' respect,'' said Miller, who hit .071 in his first nine games with Tampa Bay after coming over from Seattle in an offseason trade. ''It felt good to reward their confidence in me. I think everybody was kind of feeding off each other tonight and hitting on all cylinders.''
Desmond Jennings also hit his first home run of the year for Tampa Bay, and Erasmo Ramirez pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings.
In his first start of the season, Ramirez (2-0) gave up three hits and no walks while striking out four, becoming the first Rays starter to win in 2016. The right-hander had been given a limit of 60-65 pitches.
''When they already told you what your pitch limit is, you just think about attacking,'' Ramirez explained. ''You don't think about how many pitches you have at that moment, you just want to execute any pitch you're throwing and get as deep as you can. If you're good, you're going to stay a little more.''
The Rays let him stay out there for 66 pitches.
''I think he has a great changeup,'' White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ''Anytime you get a little aggressive, he seems to be able to drop that in there. He controlled the plate, had guys out front.''
Guyer's home run off Chicago starter John Danks in the third halted Tampa Bay's skid of 21 straight scoreless innings.
Miller's two-run drive in the fourth gave the Rays a 4-0 lead after an RBI single by Steven Souza Jr. Evan Longoria singled home a run in the seventh.
Jennings led off the eighth with a homer against Zach Putnam, and Miller had an RBI double.
Brett Lawrie hit his first homer for Chicago, a two-run shot off reliever Steve Geltz in the seventh.
Danks (0-2) gave up five runs on six hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings. He is 0-5 with a 6.91 ERA over his last five starts, dating to last season.
The Rays had managed only six runs in their four previous games and took a .196 team batting average into this one.
''It was kind of a team win, but obviously highlighted by Erasmo, and obviously a big day for Brad Miller,'' manager Kevin Cash said. ''It was nice to see the guys kind of break out a little today.''
Rays: Gold Glove CF Kevin Kiermaier (head bruise) and 2B Logan Forsythe (bruised left hip and lower leg) were available off the bench one day after colliding while pursuing a pop fly. Kiermaier said he went through the concussion protocol and ''passed with flying colors.'' Cash said Forsythe will play Sunday. Kiermaier is uncertain.
JUST IN CASE
With the Rays up 1-0 and two White Sox on base in the fourth, Longoria lunged into the stands to grab a foul ball for the third out. ''I couldn't see it,'' Ramirez said. ''I thought it was 50/50, but I was celebrating just in case.''
Ventura was impressed with Jimmy Rollins for tagging up and advancing from first base to second on Friday night, which was followed by Melky Cabrera's single that drove in the only run of the game. ''Jimmy's got some savvy to him, and that ends up winning you a game,'' Ventura said. ''Nobody taught him necessarily how to do that. That situation had to happen and it all had to add up in his brain for him to do it. It's a smart baseball play.''
The series finale Sunday is a matchup of left-handers. Matt Moore (0-0) pitches for the Rays, and Jose Quintana (1-0) will become the third straight lefty to start for the White Sox.