Friday, April 25, 2014
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Preview: Rays At White Sox

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[April 25, 2014]  The Tampa Bay Rays have yet to build much momentum this season at 10-12, with injuries depleting the starting rotation and an inconsistent offense. It won’t get any easier for the Rays as they start a 10-game road trip against the Chicago White Sox on Friday with only three wins in their last 10 contests. Tampa Bay also plays Boston and the New York Yankees on the trek after facing a White Sox team that is off to a 6-4 start at home and averaging 5.4 runs overall.

The Rays will send Chris Archer, one of two starters that are not on the disabled list, to the mound against Erik Johnson in a battle of promising young pitchers. The White Sox won three of five after dropping the first two contests on their recent seven-game road trip to Texas and Detroit. Rookie Jose Abreu continues to impress with a team-leading 21 RBIs — including seven in his last five games.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET; Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), WCIU (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Archer (2-1, 3.65 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Erik Johnson (1-1, 5.32)

Archer rebounded from a rough start against Baltimore to limit the Yankees to one run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings in a victory on Saturday. The 25-year-old has allowed two or fewer runs in three of four outings and struck out 21 while walking five in 24 2/3 frames. Archer makes his first start against the White Sox after yielding four runs in two innings of relief against them in 2012.

Johnson has begun to find his stride as he's given up one earned run in each of his last two starts, but he is struggling a bit with his command. The 24-year-old California native has walked 11 batters and struck out 17 in 22 innings, allowing 23 hits in his first full season. Johnson, who was a second-round pick in 2011, won his last three starts of 2013 with Chicago and will face Tampa Bay for the first time.

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  1. Rays C Ryan Hanigan has thrown out 36.5 percent of runners trying to steal over his career, including 3-of-7 this season.

  2. Chicago 2B Gordon Beckham went 0-for-4 in his season debut Thursday after missing 22 games with a strained oblique muscle.

  3. Tampa Bay INF-OF Logan Forsythe is batting .378 (14-for-37) as a pinch hitter in his career.

PREDICTION: Rays 4, White Sox 1

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