Despite another offseason of trimming payroll following a World Series appearance, the Tampa Bay Rays came into Chicago Monday with the best record in baseball.
The last time the White Sox hosted a meeting of the league’s two top records was 1990. Tony La Russa was in the away dugout at Comiskey Park with the eventual American League Champion Oakland A’s.
Three decades later, with La Russa in the home dugout now, the Rays took the first game of the three-game series 5-2 but may have lost a key piece.
Glasnow exits early
Tampa Bay ace Tyler Glasnow was pulled after four innings and only 53 pitches with what the team called right elbow inflammation. He appeared to have some discomfort in his arm during the fourth.
A little extra work wasn’t a problem for the Tampa Bay bullpen. Four relievers combined to allow only two hits over the final five innings.
Tampa Bay jumped out early on Chicago starter Lance Lynn. Austin Meadows opened things up in the first inning with a two-run home run, and Brandon Lowe put the Rays up 3-0 in the third with a solo shot.
Lynn, the ERA leader coming into the night, settled down and was able to get through six innings for Chicago, striking out eight.
Glasnow had cruised through the first two innings before White Sox batters stopped letting him get ahead and started to attack early in the count.
Leury García doubled on the second pitch of his at-bat. Danny Medrick hit a sac fly on the second of his.
After García scored on a wild pitch on the first pitch of Tim Anderson’s at-bat, Anderson doubled on the next. Brian Goodwin brought Anderson around to score on the second pitch of his at-bat, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The series continues Tuesday. Shane McClanahan (2-1) takes the mound for Tampa Bay, while Dallas Keuchel (5-1) looks to get Chicago back on track. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 pm EST.