ST. PETERSBURG—Jayson Nix hit his first career grand slam, helping the White Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-5 on Sunday to split a four-game series with the AL East-leaders.Nix put the White Sox up 7-3 on his homer in the sixth. He replaced Mark Teahen, who left in the fourth with a right middle finger injury, at third base.Ben Zobrist homered and had two RBI for the Rays, who went 2-5 on a seven-game homestand. Tampa Bay, with the major’s best record (34-17), is just 15-12 at home.The Sox, at 22-28, have not yet reached the high expectations coming out of spring training and Ozzie Guillen feels the team has little time to impress general manager Ken Williams heading into the non-waiver trade deadline in July.Jake Peavy (4-4) allowed five runs and 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings.Shields (5-3) went 5 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs and 11 hits.After Matt Thornton allowed one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings, Tony Pena got the final two outs in the ninth in a non-save situation.White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, who tweaked his right calf running on Friday, was not available and is day to day.Zobrist had a third-inning solo homer and added a sacrifice fly during a two-run fifth. The Rays pulled to 7-5 on RBI singles by Reid Brignac and Carl Crawford in the sixth.Alex Rios hit an RBI single in a two-run first and had a solo shot during the third for the Sox. Omar Vizquel hit an eighth-inning run-scoring double.
NOTES—Tampa Bay players will be wearing hockey uniforms on the flight to Toronto for Monday night’s game with the Blue Jays as part of a road trip theme. Many are sporting Blackhawks’ sweaters, which the Stanley Cup finalists sent to the Rays for free. “It’s all in fun,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s cool.” … Gordon Beckman, who hit .167 with no extra base hits in May, got the day off. … Rays SS Jason Bartlett, who strained his right hamstring Saturday, didn’t play. He is also expected to sit out Monday’s game. … Teahen will have X-rays taken on Monday.