White Sox held to four hits in loss to Rays

White Sox

White Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay’s Jacob Faria capped what he describes as the “best two-week span of my life” with his first major league win.

The 23-year-old right-hander sparkled in his big league debut Wednesday night, taking a three-hitter into the seventh inning of a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Pitching on the sixth anniversary of the day the Rays selected him in the 10th round of the 2011 amateur draft, Faria walked two and struck out five in 6 1/3 innings, settling down after falling behind three batters into the game to help his team end a season-high four-game losing streak.

“Usually after starts, my legs would be exhausted. But I feel like I could go run a mile right now. I’ve still got a ton of adrenaline going,” said Faria, who also became engaged to be married on May 23, the sixth anniversary of meeting his long-time girlfriend.

“He provided a huge boost for us,” Rays manager Kevin Cash added. “We needed a win, and generally you don’t ask for a guy to come up and make his major league debut to provide that. But it worked out. He was just outstanding.”

Relievers Tommy Hunter, Jose Alvarado and Alex Colome finished the combined four-hitter, with Colome getting the final three outs for his 16th save.

A night after squandering numerous scoring opportunities in a 4-2 loss to the White Sox, the Rays sputtered early offensively against Mike Pelfrey (2-5), who escaped jams in the first two innings but couldn’t do it again in the third, when the Rays scored three times.

Tim Beckham singled with the bases loaded, giving Tampa Bay only its second hit of the series in 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Another run scored when right fielder Avisail Garcia misplayed Beckham’s hit for an error. Daniel Robertson’s RBI grounder made it 3-1.

Faria (1-0) allowed hits to two of the first three batters he faced, with Laury Garcia leading off the game with a single before stealing second and scoring on Jose Abreu’s single to right field.

The rookie, 6-1 with a 3.07 ERA for Triple-A Durham before being promoted earlier Wednesday, didn’t allow another hit until Kevan Smith doubled with two outs in the fifth.

“Their guy did a nice job of kind of keeping us off balance. … He mixed his pitches well,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said.

Pelfrey, meanwhile, allowed three runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings.

The White Sox, who snapped a five-game losing streak on Tuesday night, have lost six of seven. They’ve been outscored 37-15 while dropping four of five on a nine-game trip that ends this weekend at Cleveland.

“We actually have been playing decent baseball,” Renteria said. “I thought we’ve had a couple of games where we didn’t play very well. The rest of them, for the most part, I think we’ve been in games. We just haven’t been able to score enough runs to overcome some deficits.”