ST. PETERSBURG -- Colby Rasmus' solo home run in the eighth inning provided Alex Colome with a little wiggle room as the closer held on for Tampa Bay's 7-5 series-clinching win over Chicago at Tropicana Field on Thursday.Colome struck out two in the ninth to collect his 17th save of
ST. PETERSBURG -- Colby Rasmus' solo home run in the eighth inning provided Alex Colome with a little wiggle room as the closer held on for Tampa Bay's 7-5 series-clinching win over Chicago at Tropicana Field on Thursday.
Colome struck out two in the ninth to collect his 17th save of the year, and fourth longer than one inning.
"The guy's amazing and he shouldn't be flying under anybody's radar for the performances that he's put in over the last year and a half now," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Derek Norris capitalized on a pair of Derek Holland offspeed pitches left over the middle of the plate, sending both into the left-field bleachers. It was the first multi-homer game from a Rays catcher since Curt Casali achieved the feat on consecutive days in 2015.
Peter Bourjos turned on an 0-2 pitch following Norris' second round-tripper and barreled a ball 435 feet onto the tarp in left field. Activated from an elbow injury earlier in the day, Bourjos scored multiple runs for the first time this season.
"If you make a mistake, these guys are going to capitalize on it," Holland said. "Obviously, these are big league hitters. Hats off to those guys hitting home runs."
The damage done by Norris and Bourjos from the bottom two spots of the order came on a night in which the Rays' first-through-fourth hitters batted a collective 2-for-14.
Down 6-0 in the sixth, the White Sox rallied as Avisail Garcia's first-pitch cut turned into a three-run homer. Todd Frazier went deep in the eighth, a two-run round-tripper that brought Chicago to within one run, but Rasmus took the wind from the White Sox sails in the bottom of the same frame with his home run.
With 12 hits in the game, the White Sox equaled their combined total from the first two games of the series.
Rays starter Jake Odorizzi bounced back from a short outing in Seattle, lasting 6 2/3 innings against the White Sox, striking out eight and allowing three earned runs on eight hits. He picked up his fourth win in the process.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Glove save by Robertson: In the eighth inning, the Rays pulled the infield in, in an effort to keep the tying run at third base. Yolmer Sanchez laced a sharp grounder with visions of evening the score, but slick glove work by second baseman Daniel Robertson kept the ball in the infield and the runner at third. Colome entered the game and left the runner stranded before Rasmus added to the Rays' lead with a solo shot in the bottom half of the inning.
Garcia's shot cuts the lead in half: Garcia got the White Sox back within striking distance by barrelling a ball 446 feet, his third-longest of 10 homers this season, according to Statcast™. The ball left the bat at 105.6 mph and cut the score to 6-3.
• Rays' Kiermaier exits game with hip injury
"The fact of the matter is, no matter what the starting pitchers are doing, we still keep grinding and trying to make it a game. We keep grinding, keep going and I think whatever the opposition does we have to counter it. It's hard to do that in the big leagues every single day."
-- White Sox manager Rick Renteria on fighting back
White Sox: Chicago will conclude its three-city, nine-game road trip when it travels to Cleveland for a three-game set starting Friday at 6:10 p.m. CT. The White Sox will send Miguel Gonzalez (4-5, 4.83 ERA) to the hill to start the series. The veteran righty is 4-1 with a 4.12 ERA in seven career starts against the Tribe.
Rays: The Rays begin a four-game series at home with Oakland on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Alex Cobb (4-5, 4.52) takes the mound looking to rectify his last start against Seattle, in which he gave up a career-high nine runs.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.
J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the White Sox on Thursday.