CHICAGO – Chris Sale overcame a shaky first inning to combine with two relievers on a five-hitter and Adam Dunn homered to lead the Chicago White Sox over the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 Thursday night.
Desmond Jennings walked leading off the game and scored and scored on Evan Longoria's single, but Sale (2-2) settled down and won for the first time since opening day. He allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out seven and worked around four walks.
Sale has 31 strikeouts in five appearances against the Rays. He is 11-3 with a 2.26 ERA at home in 17 starts dating to the beginning of the 2012 season.
Matt Lindstrom worked a scoreless eighth, then Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances for the Sox.
Dunn, in a 7-for-70 slide coming in, hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Jeremy Hellickson (1-2) for a 5-2 lead. The Sox had totaled 10 runs in its previous five games, losing four of them.
Hellickson gave up all five runs, five hits and four walks in six innings with eight strikeouts. Given the early lead, he allowed three runs in the first.
Alejandro De Aza doubled leading off and scored on Jeff Keppinger's double. Alex Rios walked and, one out later, Paul Konerko singled in the go-ahead run. Conor Gillaspie followed with a sacrifice fly.
Jose Lobaton homered in the fourth, his first since Aug. 22. Lobaton was 2 for 2 with a walk.
Gillaspie was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Alexei Ramirez's double into the left-field corner in the fourth. Longoria took the throw from Kelly Johnson and relayed to Lobaton at the plate.
NOTES: Rays SS Yunel Escobar was not in the lineup, a day after leaving a game against the Yankees in the seventh with tightness in his right hamstring. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he is unlikely to play Friday. ... The Sox started four left-handed batters. Lefties entered hitting .278 against Hellickson, righties just .111. ... Thursday was the Rays' first game since April 15 against a team that didn't reach last year's playoffs. ... Sox 2B Gordon Beckham said his left hand "feels fine" and is hoping he will be back before his expected return in six weeks. Beckham had surgery last week for a broken hamate bone, sustained April 9 in Washington. ... Roberto Hernandez (1-3, 4.74 ERA) starts for Tampa Bay on Friday against the Sox' Jake Peavy (2-1, 3.20). ... Maddon brought a gnome modeled after him on the road for Tampa Bay's trip. The gnomes were a giveaway for Wednesday's game at Tampa Bay.