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Scott Kazmir's 37-pitch first inning in Game 2 continued his second-half trend of long innings and heavy workloads. The Rays left-hander averaged 18.1 pitches per inning in the regular season -- by far the highest among American League pitchers with at least 140 innings this year.
He was averaging 17.48 pitches per inning heading into the All-Star break, but that ballooned to 18.66 over his 13 second-half starts. That explains in part why he didn't see the seventh inning from the mound after July 21, when he tossed seven scoreless innings against Oakland. Kazmir pitched 5 1/3 innings Friday night, marking the 13th straight appearance that the Rays ace has exited in six innings or fewer.
The White Sox led the Majors with 235 home runs this season, and two of their seven hits in Game 1 were homers, but on Friday night, all 12 of their hits were singles. The 12 White Sox hits without any extra-base hits are the most in a postseason game in 30 years, according to research on baseball-reference.com.
The last team to have that many singles and no other hits in the postseason was the 1978 Yankees, who slapped out 12 singles in their loss to the Royals in Game 2 of the ALCS. Only two teams have had more without an extra-base hit. The White Sox were one, knocking out 14 singles in Game 2 of the 1917 World Series against the New York Giants. The 1971 Orioles also had 14 in Game 2 of the 1971 World Series against Pittsburgh.
Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura hit six home runs during the regular season, all off right-handers, making his 392-shot off left Mark Buehrle in the fifth inning all the more surprising.
Chicago's Nick Swisher, a surprise starter in Game 2, led the Majors this year by averaging 4.51 pitches per plate appearance. He showed that same propensity Friday as he walked his first two times up. In later at-bats, he singled, flew out and struck out.
The Rays have come from behind to win both games against the White Sox, something they're accustomed to doing. In the regular season, 45 of their 97 victories were comeback wins.
Jackson stays ready:
Edwin Jackson tossed two innings in an instructional league game on Friday. The Rays right-hander is staying stretched out in the event the club advances to the second round, or injuries occur. Jackson said it was "tough to stay focused" in the contest, and has been in talks to throw live batting practice sometime this weekend instead.
Harold Baines is expected back as the White Sox first-base coach, starting with Sunday's contest at U.S. Cellular Field. Omer Munoz, a coach in the organization, replaced Baines for the first two games of this series, as Baines battled through health issues caused by an ulcer.
A smaller, but full house:
Due to the reconfiguration of Tropicana Field for the postseason, the total attendance for sellouts will be slightly lower than the usual sellout crowd of 36,048. Attendance for soldout Game 1 was 35,041, and Game 2 attendance was 35,257.