Red Sox Vs. White Sox: Chicago Sweeps Series In Fenway, Rich Hill Injured In 7-4 Loss

The Red Sox will return home to Fenway to face the Chicago White Sox, aiming to continue their success against the A.L. Central and stay atop the A.L. East in the process. Read more at Over The Monster and South Side Sox.

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Red Sox 4, White Sox 7: Boston Drops Fourth Straight As White Sox Sweep Series

The Red Sox gave up an early 3-0 lead en route to a 7-4 loss on Wednesday that saw defensive errors, umpire controversy, and bullpen troubles including an injury to Rich Hill.

For the first time this series, it was the Red Sox who got off to an early lead, putting together three straight hits from David Ortiz, Carl Crawford, and Jed Lowrie to start the second inning to score the first run of the game. Josh Reddick struck out swinging for the first out, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled up the middle to score two more, putting Boston up 3-0.

The lead would not last. In the fourth Alexei Ramirez continued to trouble the Sox by leading off with a single. Three batters later, and he was coming around to score on Brent Lillibridge's double, putting Chicago on the board.

Wakefield would escape the inning without any further damage, but found himself in similar trouble with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth. It was at that point that second base umpire Marty Foster made one of the worst calls of the season. With Juan Pierre on first, Tim Wakefield elected to pitch out. It was a good choice--Pierre broke for second, and found himself caught in a rundown. After a couple of quick tosses, Pedroia applied a sweeping tag that appeared to catch Pierre in the back, causing him to stagger.

As Pierre and the defenders slowed nearly to a stop, Foster signaled no out, allowing a surprise Pierre to walk into second base as an outraged Red Sox team tried to get him to check with an umpire whose view had not been almost completely blocked by Pierre as his had. He would not, and it would cost the Red Sox. The ensuing ground out that would have ended the inning instead let a second run come in, and the double down the left field line that followed it tied the game up at three-all. 

The two teams traded solo shots by Brent Lillibridge and David Ortiz in the sixth, but as the game progressed, it became clear that Sox fans would not be able to blame the umps for everything. Matt Albers allowed three straight singles to the White Sox, giving Chicago a 5-4 lead and necessitating the entrance of Rich Hill. With a full count to Adam Dunn, Hill threw a curveball, and then grabbed at his elbow as Dunn walked to first base. He would leave the game with an injury that in no way looks promising. 

While Daniel Bard's three strikeouts would provide a bright spot, the same could not be said about Jonathan Papelbon, who pulled his usual non-save situation antics, allowing a ground ball single to lead off the ninth, and a rather louder hit--a two-run bomb to Paul Konerko that put the game safely out of reach of both the Red Sox and Marty Foster's earlier error, leaving the Red Sox 7-4 losers.

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White Sox 10, Red Sox 7: Alexi Ramirez, Chicago Squeak Past Boston

Drew Sutton (2-for-2, 2 RBI) led a late charge in the eighth and ninth innings, driving in one run in each inning, but the rally fell short as the Boston Red Sox fell to the Chicago White Sox, 10-7, in the second game of the series on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

Boston (30-25) fell behind 10-1 by the sixth inning, as starting pitcher Alfredo Aceves surrendered eight runs (six earned runs) on eight hits while walking three in five innings and reliever Scott Atchison allowed two earned in two innings.

In the second inning, Chicago (26-31) struck for four runs. Gordon Beckham singled to drive in Paul Konerko, Brent Morel was safe at first on a Jed Lowrie fielding error (A.J. Pierzynski scored) and Alexi Ramirez singled to shallow center, scoring Beckham and Morel.

Pierzynski's ground rule double in the third inning brought Konerko home and gave Chicago a 5-0 lead, but Jason Varitek hit a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning, cutting the deficit to four runs. In the fourth, Ramirez hit a single to center, bringing in Morel, to get the run back. 

The White Sox put the nail in the coffin in the sixth inning, plating four more runs. Juan Pierre hit a two-run single to right, Carlos Quentin doubled to left to bring Pierre home, and Konerko hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ramirez, putting Chicago up 10-1.

Led by Sutton's rally, the Red Sox plated four runs in the eighth inning. Sutton hit a single to left, scoring Reddick, and David Ortiz connected for a three-run home run. In the ninth inning, Josh Reddick hit a sac fly to score Lowrie and Sutton doubled to right, plating Varitek.

Phil Humber (4-3) pitched 7.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on nine hits while striking out five to earn the win. Chris Sale earned the save, his second of the season, recording the final out of the game.

Boston hosts Chicago in the series finale at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

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Red Sox 3, White Sox 7: Jon Lester Allows Seven Earned Runs As Red Sox Fall

Jon Lester allowed seven earned runs in under six innings of work Monday, sending the Red Sox to a 7-3 loss against the Chicago White Sox.

From the very beginning, it was apparent that Jon Lester would not be repeating the strong performance he had against the Indians. Despite having one of the weaker lineups in the American League, the White Sox laced some hard hits off of him in the first, which combined with Lester hitting Carlos Quentin led to two earned runs in the first.

The Red Sox would get one back when Adrian Gonzalez homered for the first time since May 14 in the bottom half of the first. But Lester would give the run right back via a solo shot to Paul Konerko in the third. Again, though, Boston fought back. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the inning, then moved to third on Jacoby Ellsbury's double. Dustin Pedroia worked the count to 2-2 against Jake Peavy, then swatted a fastball back up the middle to score them both and tie the game at three runs a piece.

Lester held steady through the sixth, despite allowing three more free passes, but eventually things fell apart in the sixth. Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham singled and Juan Pierre walked to load the bases with two outs, bringing Alexei Ramirez to the plate. Lester fell behind 2-0, but then fought back to even the count at 2-2. Alexei Ramirez got under the next pitch, and lifted a lazy pop-up down the right field line. It was weak contact, but perfectly placed, falling over the head of Adrian Gonzalez to score two runs. A ground ball single off of Dan Wheeler quickly scored two more, making it 7-3 after six.

The Red Sox would give a few balls some long rides, but always came up short, resulting in only a few more baserunners the rest of the game--hardly enough to mount a comeback. 

Boston falls to 30-24 with the loss, and are again tied with the Yankees atop the AL East.

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Red Sox vs. White Sox Lineups: Jed Lowrie Still Missing From Boston Lineup

Jed Lowrie will be held out of the lineup for a second straight game with a sore shoulder Monday, leaving Drew Sutton as the lone abnormality in what will otherwise be a typical lineup for the Red Sox.

Boston Red Sox

 

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Carl Crawford, LF
7. Drew Sutton, SS
8. J.D. Drew, RF
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
--Jon Lester, SP

Chicago White Sox

1. Juan Pierre, LF
2. Alexei Ramirez, SS
3. Carlos Quentin, DH
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. A.J. Pierzynski, C
6. Alex Rios, CF
7. Brent Lillibridge, RF
8. Gordon Beckham, 2B
9. Brent Morel, 3B
--Jake Peavy, SP

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Red Sox Vs. White Sox: Red Sox Return To Fenway Park As A.L. Central Gauntlet Continues

Fresh off a seven-game road trip which saw them take five wins off of the American League Central's two best teams, the Red Sox are headed home to try and keep things rolling against one of its worst clubs.

Predicted by most to be at least a winning team, the White Sox have been quite disappointing indeed through the first fifty games. At 24-31, Chicago trails the division-leading Indians by nearly 10 games, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why. They have strong starting pitching, a decent bullpen, and only a few batters who are worth the time and energy it takes to pencil them into the lineup on a daily basis.

The staples of the Chicago lineup are still doing reasonably well. Carlos Quentin is having his best power season since 2008, even if his on base figures are rather lower, and Paul Konerko has so far provided a solid if uninspiring bat at first base. After that, though, they have Alexei Ramirez (good for a shortstop, but only a shortstop), bench player Brent Lillibridge (who has performed well in limited opportunities), and not a single other player worth mention.

Well, that's not entirely true. It's worth mentioning that Adam Dunn has been so tremendously bad, with an OPS of .650. It's worth mentioning that Gordon Beckham has continued to see his production slide. And it's worth mentioning that neither Juan Pierre nor Omar Vizquel seem capable of providing much (if any) defensive value to make up for their lack of a bat any longer. Not only does the team not back up its starting pitchers with their bats, but they fail them with their gloves as well.

So no matter how strong a pitching matchup may seem for the White Sox, well, there's every reason to play the games.

Boston Red Sox (30-23) vs. Chicago White Sox (24-31)

Monday, May 30, 7:10 p.m.
NESN/MLBN
Jon Lester (7-1, 3.36 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (1-0, 3.00 ERA)

The Red Sox scored 14 runs in their final game against the Cleveland Indians, but perhaps the best part of Wednesday's game came on the mound in the form of Jon Lester. After allowing 14 runs in 17 innings against the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Cubs, Lester returned to form against Cleveland, tossing six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out seven batters.

For Jake Peavy, the season is still quite young. With just three starts under his belt, though, the former San Diego ace has looked quite impressive. While he was hit fairly hard by Texas in a rain-shortened appearance, Peavy set the gold standard against Cleveland back on May 18 with a complete game shutout of the Tribe. One night after Justin Verlander shut the Sox down for nearly eight innings, Jake Peavy has a decent chance at replicating the feat.

Tuesday, May 31, 7:10 p.m.
NESN
Alfredo Aceves (2-0, 2.22 ERA) vs. Gavin Floyd (5-5, 3.69 ERA)

When the Red Sox tasked Alfredo Aceves with filling a rotation spot while John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka lingered on the disabled list, they probably would have been happy to just receive a couple of quality starts. So far, quality just doesn't cut it, with Aceves throwing eleven innings of two-run ball in two starts. The Sox had hoped for a quality fill-in, but now more than a few people are thinking they may have found their new no. 5 starter. The question, however, is whether Aceves is the pitcher we saw in his last start, who has the ability to put batters away, or the one we saw in the first, whose occasional wildness doesn't seem conducive to long-term success.

Gavin Floyd may have started as the no. 4 starter for the White Sox, but at this point, it's hard to see him as anything but a front-end guy. While he has been prone to some disaster games, three times allowing five-or-more runs, he has more often help opponents to two runs or fewer. Floyd did have to throw 15 pitches in relief during the White Sox' 14-inning loss to the Blue Jays on May 28, though, so it will be interesting to see if that outing has any effect on his next start.

Wednesday, June 1, 1:35 p.m.
NESN
Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.14 ERA) vs. Phil Humber (3-3, 2.85 ERA)

So far, so good for Tim Wakefield in his return to the starting rotation. Over his last 14 innings, Wakefield has never lost the feel for his knuckleball, resulting in two dominant starts and two easy wins for the Red Sox. Of course, that can change on any given day, but it's nice to see that the team's consummate veteran still has it in him.

Nobody is going to call 28-year-old Phil Humber a consumate veteran. A long-time fringe player, Humber seems to have finally caught on with Chicago. Don't let the low ERA fool you, however. Much of Humber's success comes from an unsustainable .210 BABIP--he has yet to strike out more than five batters in a game this year--and with a combination of Fenways' unfriendliness towards fly ball pitchers and his defense's unfriendliness towards balls in play, Humber is due for some regression any day now.

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