ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Leury García had four hits, including three doubles, Reynaldo López won for the first time in six starts and the Chicago White Sox stopped a seven-game losing streak by beating the slumping Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 on Friday night.
García became the first White Sox player to have three doubles in a game since Adam Eaton against Minnesota on Aug. 2, 2014.
López (5-8) gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts. He had been 0-2 with a 5.34 ERA since beating Kansas City on June 9.
Tampa Bay dropped a season-high nine games behind the AL East-leading Yankees after arriving about 3:30 a.m. following a doubleheader loss in New York. The Rays have dropped behind Cleveland and Oakland for the two AL wild-card spots. The Rays held an eight-game lead over the third-place team in the wild-card race at the start of play on June 11 but have lost 20 of 35 since.
Rays rookie Brendan McKay (1-1) lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his fourth start, allowing six runs — five earned — and nine hits as his ERA doubled from 1.69 to 3.72. The two-way player had given up three runs over 16 innings in the first three outings.
García doubled leading off the first and scored from second when José Abreu’s hard grounder went off the glove of second baseman Mike Brosseau and into right field for an error.
Chicago went ahead 4-1 in the second when Adam Engel beat out a two-out grounder to shortstop, García hit a two-run double that dropped between two outfielders in shallow right and Yoán Moncada followed with an RBI double.
Yolmer Sánchez homered and Moncada had an RBI single during the fourth, and Engel hit a run-scoring triple in the fifth and scored on Colin Poche’s wild pitch for an 8-2 lead. Sanchez added a run-scoring double in the ninth.
Ji-Man Choi and Brosseau drove in runs for the Rays.
Tampa Bay went 1 for 24 with runners in scoring position while losing three of four to the Yankees and began Friday with a .248 RISP average, sixth-worst in the majors. “We’re a really good offense when nobody is on-base,” manager Kevin Cash said. “Believe me, we have pounded our heads against the tables.” Tampa Bay went 2 for 7 RISP on Friday night.