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Wander Franco shines, Tampa Bay Rays blank Chicago White Sox

Sportsnaut
Aug 22, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Cesar Hernandez (12) tags to Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) as he attempted to steal second base during the third inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Cesar Hernandez (12) tags to Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) as he attempted to steal second base during the third inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay rookie Wander Franco doubled twice, scored three runs and extended his major-league-best on-base streak to 24 games as the Rays routed the Chicago White Sox 9-0 to earn a series win Sunday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Franco went 2-for-5 and had an RBI, and Austin Meadows (3-for-4, double) drove in three runs for the Rays, who finish the season series 3-3 against Chicago.

Catcher Francisco Mejia (2-for-4) continued his stellar hitting with the bases loaded by lashing a three-run double in the sixth inning to put the home side up 6-0.

Relievers Shawn Armstrong (1-0), Adam Conley, Chris Mazza and Josh Fleming shut down Chicago in the seven-hit shutout, the club’s 10th.

Fleming recorded his first career save by tossing the last three frames.

Sidelined since April 10 and appearing for just the third time, starter Chris Archer was effective, recording his first four outs by strikeout but lasting just two innings.

The right-hander allowed one hit and a walk while fanning four. He departed with left hip tightness, an ailment which hampered him while on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham.

White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez (2-1) surrendered six hits and three runs in four innings. Shortstop Danny Mendick went 2-for-4.

In the teams’ final regular-season meeting, Meadows delivered a two-out RBI in the home first when his soft liner barely eluded second baseman Cesar Hernandez in right field.

The knock scored Ji-Man Choi, who gingerly ran to second on his one-out double and was replaced by Yandy Diaz, who posted a two-hit game off the bench.

In the third, Franco rocketed an RBI double to center. Meadows then plated the shortstop with a single for a 3-0 lead.

Chicago threatened in the sixth with two outs when Eloy Jimenez singled — giving him an 11-game hitting streak — and Yoan Moncada doubled to right. But Mazza ended his 1 1/3-inning stint by whiffing Andrew Vaughn swinging on a 79 mph slider.

Entering with a 5-for-7 mark with the bases loaded this season, Mejia belted an 0-2 pitch to right-center off reliever Jose Ruiz to give him 28 RBIs overall — 15 with the sacks full.

Ruiz balked in a run and Meadows produced an RBI double in the seventh. Kevin Kiermaier’s sacrifice fly rounded out the Rays’ eighth win in their past 11 games.

–Field Level Media