CHICAGO (AP) — Tommy Pham homered twice and extended his on-base streak to a club record 45 games, leading the Tampa Bay Rays over the White Sox 9-1 on Wednesday for their first series sweep in Chicago.
Austin Meadows had a single, double, home run and three RBIs for the Rays, who outscored Chicago 24-7 over three games. Tampa Bay won its four straight game and the AL East-leading Rays improved to 10-3, their best start since 2010.
Chicago lost its fifth consecutive game and at 3-8 is off to its worst opening since 1997.
The start was delayed 1 hour, 39 minutes because of a mix of sleet and rain. Game-time temperature was 38 degrees, matching the third-lowest in Rays history. The crowd was announced at 11,107, but it appeared fewer than 1,000 were on hand at the outset.
Reynaldo Lopez (0-2) fell behind 3-0 within 18 pitches.
Meadows was 7 for 10 in the series with two homers, seven RBIs and four runs.
Acquired with Meadows from Pittsburgh last summer, Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow (3-0) struck out a career-high 11 in six innings. Meadows allowed two hits in six shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 0.53 in three starts.
Jalen Beeks gave up one run in three innings for his first professional save, allowing Yonder Alonso’s run-scoring groundout in the ninth.
Chicago entered with a major league-worst 6.72 ERA, and Lopez allowed eight runs, 10 hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. He has failed to get past the fifth inning in all three starts.
Meadows led off the game with a single, and Pham sent the next pitch into the right-center field bleachers. Brandon Lowe doubled with one out, and Avisail Garcia hit the first of two RBI singles.
Meadows and Pham hit back-to-back homers for a 5-0 lead in the fourth. Pham’s opposite-field drive to right-center was his eighth multi-homer game.
Rays: INF Joey Wendle (strained left hamstring) will not come off the injury list on Thursday when eligible but may return on the homestand next week. “He’s still not doing really any baseball activity,” manager Kevin Cash said. “More just kind of running a treadmill, underwater running. He’s progressing.”
White Sox: The team debut of OF Jon Jay remains on hold because of a right hip strain and related groin soreness.
Rays: Have not announced a starter for the opener of a three-game set versus the Blue Jays in Toronto on Friday night.
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (1-1, 5.73 ERA) will open a three-game series against the Yankees in New York on Friday night.
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