The Red Sox are looking to make it five straight tonight as they face off against John Danks and the Chicago White Sox.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all he action as it goes down at U.S. Cellular Field.
Red Sox 10, White Sox 3, Final -- And the Sox have their fifth straight win, pulling to within a game of .500 at 9-10. Daniel Bard throws seven strong innings, David Ortiz and Darnell McDonald go deep in a 10-run attack.
Red Sox 10, White Sox 3, Mid 9th -- Darnell McDonald makes it double digits again for the Red Sox, getting all of a Dylan Axelrod fastball and sending it over the wall in dead center. After a Marlon Byrd single, Mike Aviles came very close to making it 12-3, but had what would have been a guaranteed homer knocked down by the wind before it carried into the left field seats.
Red Sox 9, White Sox 3, End 8th -- Matt Albers gives the Sox a scare when he allows a long fly ball to Adam Dunn, but Marlon Byrd is able to once again run back far enough to glove the ball for the out. After that, two quick, painless outs take us to the ninth.
Red Sox 9, White Sox 3, Mid 8th -- Dustin Pedroia singles and Adrian Gonzalez walks, but the Sox can't make it double digits as Kevin Youkilis strikes out and Nick Punto, presumably in to get some work with a big lead, flies out to end the threat.
Red Sox 9, White Sox 3, End 7th -- The defense is trying to make amends for the third, it seems. After picking up his sixth strikeout on Gordon Beckham, Daniel Bard allowed a long fly ball to Alejandro De Aza (who at one point tried to head to first base on ball three), but had Marlon Byrd backpedal onto the track to make the grab. One pitch later, and it was Adrian Gonzalez gloving a line drive off the bat of Alexei Ramirez to end Daniel Bard's night on a good note.
That's seven innings, two earned runs, one walk, and six strikeouts for Daniel Bard. Quite the outing in his first season as a starter--a conversion that is starting to look very smart.
Red Sox 9, White Sox 3, Mid 7th -- The Sox open their lead up even further on a succession of singles. The first two came from Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez, putting runners at first and second with one out for David Ortiz after a Kevin Youkilis strike out. Ortiz nearly scored three at once with a very well-hit ball, but with the cold weather and the wind blowing in it died short of the wall.
Cody Ross would be the one to push the first run across, lining to left (where else?) to score Pedroia from second. Up came Kelly Shoppach, probably just hoping not to lose the bat again, but this time actually managing to single into center field for another RBI.
Red Sox 7, White Sox 3, End 6th -- A long delay just makes Bard stronger. Dustin Pedroia handled the first two outs, making a tremendous diving stop and throwing from his knees as he fell backwards to get Danny Viciedo at first. With Brent Morel popping out on the first pitch, it was an easy 5-pitch inning for Boston's starter.
Red Sox 7, White Sox 3, Mid 6th -- Yeah, so much for that pitcher's duel. Admittedly getting squeezed in the strike zone, John Danks fell apart in the sixth inning. Walks to Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis gave the Sox a pair of baserunners with one out, and a David Ortiz single loaded the bases. Cody Ross would tie the game by dropping a line drive into left field, but Kelly Shoppach once again had the bat fly far from his hands in the process of striking out, leaving Darnell McDonald at the plate in a big situation.
Thankfully, the outfielder proved more than up to the task, taking a first pitch fastball into left field for a double that cleared the bases. Now up 6-3, the Sox added another run when Marlon Byrd flared one over a leaping Alexei Ramirez at shortstop, chasing Danks from the game.
Red Sox 2, White Sox 3, End 5th -- Alright, so I shouldn't have said anything. After sitting down six straight, Daniel Bard leaves a pitch over the plate to Paul Konerko, who is all-too-happy to lose it into the left field stands.
Red Sox 2, White Sox 2, Mid 5th -- Amazingly, the Red Sox seem to be locked in something of a pitchers' duel right now. This would make the second such matchup for Daniel Bard, the team's oft-questioned fifth starter. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
Red Sox 2, White Sox 2, End 4th -- A very nice and compact fourth inning for Daniel Bard, as the defense recovers from the pathetic showing in the fourth with Darnell McDonald even making a nice grab on a fly ball for the first out.
Red Sox 2, White Sox 2, Mid 4th -- An unremarkable 1-2-3 top of the fourth becomes just plain weird as Bobby Valentine brings Kelly Shoppach a new bat as he stands at the plate. Shoppach quickly strikes out with the replacement bat, which goes flying well into left field. What'd Bobby do? Grease the thing?
Red Sox 2, White Sox 2, End 3rd -- Ladies and gentlemen, the Bad News Bears have arrived.
A series of fielding mishaps leaves the Sox stuck in a tie game after the third. An errant throw from Kevin Youkilis gave the White Sox a leadoff baserunner who then moved to center as Marlon Byrd mysteriously pulled up to watch Darnell McDonald make a last-ditch effort on a bloop fly ball that really should have been the center fielder's.
After a ground ball got the Red Sox their second out on a ground ball which moved Alexei Ramirez to third, Chicago would tie the game when Kelly Shoppach had a high pitch pop out of his glove and behind him. Unable to find the ball, the Sox could only watch as Ramirez scored. A ground ball off of Daniel Bard's hand would continue the inning and put some fear in the dugout, and another bloop to left-center threatened to give the White Sox an almost undeserved lead, but Mike Aviles made a running over-the-shoulder basket catch to mercifully bring the frame to an end.
Red Sox 2, White Sox 1, Mid 3rd -- The Red Sox get a great scoring opportunity in the third, but can't push anything across. Mike Aviles singled and Dustin Pedroia walked to put a runner in scoring position for Adrian Gonzalez, who hit a ball hard to center, but sadly directly to Alejandro De Aza, who made the grab for the out. Kevin Youkilis, the final hope in the inning, could do nothing, striking out on three pitches to end the threat.
Red Sox 2, White Sox 1, End 2nd -- A better second inning for Daniel Bard despite giving up a one-out single as he struggled to find the inside of the plate against Brent Morel. The same difficulties would cost him a 3-0 count against Gordon Beckham, but Bard battled back to strike him out as Morel stole second behind him. The steal would not prove costly, however, with Bard getting ahead of Alejandro De Aza 0-2 and then freezing him with a slider for the called strike three.
Red Sox 2, White Sox 1, Mid 2nd -- David Ortiz does not simply hit homers this year. David Ortiz is a serial baseball murderer. The sound of the ball, the speed off the bat, and the distance of the eventual homer on a chilly 45 degree night when John Danks left a changeup in his wheelhouse? Simply unreal. With Youkilis on base by virtue of a walk, it's a 2-1 Sox lead now.
Red Sox 0, White Sox 1, End 1st -- And for the first time in a fair while, the Sox are down early. Alejandro De Aza knocked a double into center field to start Daniel Bard's night off on the wrong foot, and a walk to Adam Dunn put two men on with just one out. Bard managed to get Paul Konerko swinging at a slider for the strikeout, but before he could end the inning A.J. Pierzynski cued an outside changeup just inside the line in left for an RBI double.
Red Sox 0, White Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Compared to what we've become used to over the past few days, the Sox are off to a slow start. A pop-up, fly ball, and ground ball leave Mike Aviles, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez 0-for-3 while Danks needs just 13 pitches to end the first.