Early-season injuries to Gavin Floyd, Gordon Beckham, Dayan Viciedo, John Danks and Jeff Keppinger could really discourage Robin Ventura.
But the White Sox manager is more inclined to look at the big picture, even as his club dropped the Sunday afternoon series finale against Tampa Bay, 8-3.
With the series split, the Sox still remain in reasonable striking distance of first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.
“It can always be worse,” Ventura said. “Any situation can always be worse. We bring up guys who are capable of playing. You are going to get some guys who get opportunities. That’s also how we got (Jose) Quintana last year. There are opportunities that guys need to take advantage of. If it doesn’t happen for us, there are other teams that are looking at them when they get opportunities.”
Tampa Bay’s David Price went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out 9. Sox starter Dylan Axelrod went six innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out three, but he allowed two home runs.
Much of the pregame conversation centered on Floyd, who underwent an MRI after injuring the flexor muscle in his right arm during Saturday night’s 10-4 loss to the Rays.
“It’s a strain. He didn’t tear anything. No ligaments…it’s more muscular,” Ventura said. “You just try and treat it and get him back as soon as you can. But it looks like at least two weeks.”
Konerko drilled a 3-2 pitch into the leftfield seats for a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to put the Sox ahead 3-1. The homer was Konerko’s fourth of the season and was measured at 407 feet.
It was Konerko’s 426th career homer, tying him with Cubs Hall of Famer Billy Williams for 45th all-time.
The Rays tied the game 3-3 on a two-run homer by Matt Joyce in the sixth inning. Desmond Jennings had led off with a ground-rule double that landed on the warning track in center and bounced over the fence.
Tampa Bay took the lead 4-3 in the eighth when Ben Zobrist singled up the middle past reliever Nate Jones to score Sean Rodriguez, who opened the inning with a base hit.
Matt Thornton took over for Jones and got James Loney on a short fly out to center for the second out. Righthander Jesse Crain then came in to face Ryan Roberts.
Roberts looped a soft liner to short right field. Rios dropped the ball for an error, allowing two unearned runs to score to make it 6-3.
Zobrist singled in his second RBI in the eighth off reliever Deunte Heath. Then Evan Longoria doubled in another run to make it 8-3.