Rays stymied by Danks in home finale
Karns gives up three home runs; offense hitless until sixth inning
ST. PETERSBURG -- Tropicana Field never felt like home sweet dome in 2014, and that seemed to be the simple message reiterated on Sunday as the White Sox defeated the Rays, 10-5, to cap the Rays' home schedule.
The Rays finished with a 36-45 home record, their worst mark since 2003 (also 36-45) and tied for the fourth-worst home record in club history. Since becoming the "Rays" in 2008, they had never gone worse than 46-35 at home until this season.
"That's the part that is hard to understand," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We're actually slightly over the top on the road and well under at home. We made hay at home in the past. That's how we really became as good as we are. But there's where this season literally went upside down. There is no explanation from me."
The Rays fell to 75-81 on the season. With six games remaining, the Rays will not experience a winning season for the first time since 2007.
Nate Karns made his second start of the season for the Rays and his first at Tropicana Field. And things did not flow as smoothly for the rookie right-hander as they did in his first appearance for the Rays on Sept. 12 in Toronto when he picked up the win after tossing seven scoreless innings. Karns surrendered a leadoff home run to Avisail Garcia to start the second. The damage got trebled when Karns hit the next batter Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks followed with a single before Marcus Semien homered to left to give the White Sox a 4-0 lead.
Karns found trouble again in the sixth when Garcia led off the inning with his second home run of the game. Viciedo then singled to chase Karns.
"At times, I missed my spots, and they took advantage of that, but I have to [tip my cap]," Karns said. "I think the three-run home run was a pitch off the plate. He did a great job keeping his hands in, and that's how it goes sometimes. The hitters are going to take a pitch and make good."
Karns' departure provided an opportunity for the Rays to take a look at right-hander Alex Colome coming out of the bullpen.
Jordan Danks greeted Colome with a single and the inning went downhill from there. By the time the Rays could mint the third out,the White Sox had scored six runs on six hits and a walk.
Karns' final line showed six earned runs on five hits and two walks in five-plus innings, and Colome's showed four earned runs on four hits and a walk in one inning, adding up to a 10-0 White Sox lead.
"Karns had a tough night," Maddon said. "And Colome, just trying to get him out there to see what he looked like. And I'm not going to draw any conclusions whatsoever about that. Just a bad day."
Maddon added that the White Sox hitters had something to say about the way the Rays pitched Sunday.
"They've got some really talented hitters on that team, I'm here to tell you," Maddon said. "Offensively, they're a good ballclub."
After Chicago's turn at bat in the sixth, the only remaining suspense was whether John Danks could spin a no-hitter.
Brandon Guyer answered that question with a one-out double to left. Kevin Kiermaier drove in a run with a groundout and Wil Myers legged out an infield hit -- that was awarded after a challenge -- to drive home another, cutting the White Sox lead to 10-2.
John Danks allowed two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out five in six innings to earn his 10th win.
"That was fun," Danks said. "We got in a nice little rhythm and were able to get some quick outs, which helps. Really, the walks were the only thing that's a little bothersome. All in all, it was a good day."
Curt Casali added an RBI double off Matt Lindstrom in the seventh to cut the lead to 10-3, and Guyer brought home a pair of runs with a single in the ninth against Daniel Webb.