CHICAGO, Ill. - Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena homered, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight win.
Tampa Bay improved to 43-24, 1 1/2 games ahead of the White Sox for the best record in the majors. The Rays have won seven of eight.
"The two top teams going at it, we know it was going to be a game where one big hit or home runs will do the job," Meadows said. "To be fortunate enough to get three long balls tonight, you’re going to have those nights when you score off the home runs."
Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow left after four innings with right elbow inflammation. The 6-foot-8 right-hander allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out six, throwing 40 of 53 pitches for strikes.
Glasnow sensed something wasn’t right, but not terribly painful, in the elbow as he tossed his final pitches in the fourth. He told the coaching staff and was replaced by Ryan Thompson.
"The last couple of pitches I felt just a little tug," Glasnow said. "I didn’t want to go out and chance it. The velo was still there, it just felt not right."
Glasnow said he planned to get an MRI on Tuesday.
Tim Anderson had two hits and Brian Goodwin added an RBI single for the White Sox, whose four-game winning streak ended.
Four Tampa Bay relievers — Thompson, J.P. Feyereisen (3-2), Diego Castillo and Pete Fairbanks — followed with five scoreless innings of two-hit ball. Fairbanks pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.
The Rays’ bullpen, which tossed seven no-hit innings in a win over Baltimore on Sunday, entered with an AL-best 3.05 ERA.
"The bullpen has been just has hot as any bullpen in baseball," manager Kevin Cash said. "Other than Glasnow, that’s the story of the game."
Lance Lynn (7-2) allowed three runs on six hits in six innings as he lost for the first time since April 15.
Lynn allowed as many as three runs for only the second time in 12 starts. The big right-hander entered having won six straight decisions and with a 1.23 ERA that was second to the Mets’ Jacob deGrom among major league starters.
"Tonight they did some timely hitting," Lynn said. "You look at a mid-June challenge, which is fun, but we’re in a good spot and we’ve just got to keep going."
Meadows and Lowe both went deep on 1-0 pitches against Lynn.
"He’s been pitching as good as anyone in the game," Cash said. "He’s not a guy you can wait around on. He’s going to throw the ball in the zone. If you like it, hit it."
Meadows, who entered in a 1-for-17 slump, lofted Lynn’s sinker deep to right in the first inning for his team-leading 15th homer.
Lowe turned on a cutter in the third, driving the ball just inside the right-field foul pole for his 12th homer and a 3-0 lead.
The White Sox cut it to 3-2 in the bottom half. Leury Garcia scored from third on a wild pitch. Anderson, who had doubled, came home on Goodwin’s single.
Arozarena made it 4-2 in the eighth off Garrett Crochet with his second homer in two games. Brett Phillips drove in a run with an infield single in the ninth.
While diving forward on his stomach in center field, Goodwin reached out and snagged Arozarena’s sinking liner for the second out in the fifth.
Rays: Reinstated 1B Ji-Man Choi (left groin strain) from the 10-day injured and optioned INF Mike Brosseau to Triple-A Durham. Choi started on Monday after missing nine games in his second stint on the IL this season.
White Sox: 3B Yoán Moncada sat out with what manager Tony La Russa called a "cold with a lot of congestion." Garcia started at third. ... LF Eloy Jiménez, out since suffering a ruptured pectoral tendon in spring training, has been medically cleared to resume baseball activities at the team’s facility in Glendale, Arizona. The White Sox expect this phase of Jiménez’s rehab to take at least four weeks. There’s no timetable for his return to Chicago.
Tampa Bay rookie LHP Shane McClanahan (2-1, 4.54 ERA) faces Chicago LHP Dallas Keuchel (5-1, 4.14) on Tuesday night.