The White Sox offense got some pent-up runs out of their system early, scoring 3 runs in the first inning with a mixture of singles, a bunt, and a 2-run Dunn-dinger that landed just a few rows shy of the concourse in RF. I wonder if Peavy was thinking "one inning too late." I may have been.
But the story of the day was Gavin Floyd's fantastic outing, featuring perfection through 5.2 innings and a no-hitter into the 7th. Floyd was in command from the start with all of his pitches cutting and curving as they should; and with Perfect Games all up on the brains, Floyd's first baserunner didn't come until he walked Cody Ross with 2 outs and 2 strikes logged in the 5th. His next Red Sox runner was Aviles in the 7th, who hit a single past Sunday second-baseman Escobar, with one out. Whether Beckham would've had it is debatable; but nobody was getting to the RBI double smoked off the stick of Ortiz one batter later. Ross singled after that and with Ortiz at 3rd, Gavin left the mound to a standing ovation. Addison Reed finished the 7th and protected Floyd's 2-run lead by getting lil' Nick Punto to hit a grounder to Dunn (Punto's first contact of the day, after registering two of Floyd's nine total strikeouts).
The bottom of the 7th began with two quick outs before Escobar disrupted Josh Beckett's groove with a deflected single to right field. De Aza followed him with a walk and Lillibridge skillfully worked Beckett to his last ounce, with a 12-pitch at-bat that resulted in a walk. Bases loaded for the pitching change. The hot-swinging Rios stepped up to see what Scott Atchison was made of; which I'm sure he could have done had he not hit a high fly to right field on the first pitch.
Boston's Rich Hill presented the White Sox with another 2-out opportunity in the 8th; and this time, they made the most of it. Dunn walked to start the inning, but his pinch-runner Morel was wiped off the paths when Pierzynski hit into a double-play. Alexei kept the inning alive with a single and Hill walked Fukudome after that. Once again, runners on with two outs and a Red Sox pitching change.
Junichi Tazawa came in for Boston to face Dayan Viciedo, who seared a hanging splitter to left field for a single that scored Alexei from second and gave the White Sox the 3-run lead. Thornton, who relieved Reed in the 8th, closed the game in three batters like a boss.
The White Sox returned to .500, avoided the four-game sweep, and also broke up their five-game losing streak that began early this week in Oakland. Happy thoughts going into tomorrow's off-day and the series that begins at home Tuesday against Cleveland.