Rays pummel White Sox, but Phegley, Castro shine in debuts
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 5, 2013 9:50PM
Updated: July 6, 2013 12:12AM
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As double debuts go, catcher Josh Phegley and right-hander Simon Castro did all right.
As for the White Sox players who have been around much longer, it was more of the same results in an 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Right-hander Dylan Axelrod got rocked for five runs and nine hits in 1 2/3 innings, the shortest start of his career, and the Sox (34-49) fell to 10-25 in their last 35 games.
Phegley, playing in his first major-league game, drove in runs with a single in the fifth inning and a sacrifice fly in the ninth. He was 1-for-3.
Castro, who came to the Sox from the San Diego Padres in the Carlos Quentin trade, pitched the last three innings, allowing no runs, two hits and two walks. He struck out four.
“It was kind of a strange feeling,” said Phegley, who figures to split time with Tyler Flowers behind the plate. “It’s the same game, you try to tell yourself that. It was just a different atmosphere. It was exciting and stressful and nerve-wracking all at the same time. I wish it would have went a little better for us, but it was an experience.”
Gordon Beckham was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, raising his average to .328. Beckham, who starred at shortstop at Georgia, made his major-league debut at shortstop in the seventh, giving Alexei Ramirez his first rest of the season. Ramirez was the only player in the major leagues who had played every inning.
The Rays got back-to-back homers from Jose Molina and Kelly Johnson, their Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, in the second inning.
Axelrod’s ERA climbed from 4.57 to 4.97. His record is 3-5.
“I left some balls up, and they are hot right now,” Axelrod said. “So just try to turn the page and think about my next start.
“I was throwing strikes. Balls were up a little bit, maybe too much of the plate at times. So I didn’t feel like I was throwing horrible pitches, but it was obviously not good enough.”
Castro gave up singles to Luke Scott and Yunel Escobar in his first inning, but he settled in after that.
“I felt a little nervous because it was the first time,” said Castro, who was 3-6 with a 4.92 ERA at Charlotte but 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA in his last seven appearances, including three starts. “But after that, after the first pitch, I was just trying to throw strikes and keep it going and keep the lead there and give the team a chance to come back.’’