After scoring 25 runs in the four game sweep of the Cleveland Indians, the White Sox remembered to pack their hot bats for the trip to Boston. Collecting nine extra base hits on the way to a 10-8 victory.
On the mound for the Red Sox was starting pitcher Joe Kelly, who predicted he would win the Cy Young in 2015. With a 2-5 record and a 5.94 ERA, that prediction seemed pretty humorous before the game and even funnier after the first inning. Slotted as the designated hitter due to a bum left shoulder, Adam Eaton lead off the game with a triple, his eighth of the year. Tyler Saladino hit his second triple down the right field line to drive in Eaton, and it was the first time since 6/15/1954 when Chico Carrasquel and Nellie Fox both hit triples against the Philadelphia A's.
Leading 1-0, Melky Cabrera doubled to drive in Saladino for his 20th RBI in the month of July (46th on the year). Good feelings were had with three extra base hits in a row to start the game.
Then this happened:
White Sox fans collective breath's were held as Head Trainer, Herm Schneider, checked out Abreu's hand. After squeezing Schneider's hand to test strength, Abreu stayed in the game. Avisail Garcia would continue the hit train by lining a single to left field to load the bases. With Eaton handling DH duties, JB Shuck once again started in center field and hit a comeback bouncer to Joe Kelly, who proceeded to fumble it away for an error. Cabrera scored making it 3-0, and the White Sox would pick up an extra run when Alexei Ramirez hit into a 4-3 double play (thanks to poor base running by JB Shuck), giving John Danks a four run lead to work with.
Unlike Chris Sale, when he had a five run lead to work with on Saturday, Danks could not repeat his recent performances against the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. David Ortiz, who hit two home run's the previous night against the Detroit Tigers, launched his 20th home run to deep center field, to cut the lead in half, 4-2.
In the second inning, Danks walked Rusney Castillo, which snapped a five game consecutive streak by White Sox pitchers without allowing a walk. Ryan Hanigan doubled to left field that barely got over Melky Cabrera's glove. Jemile Weeks (brother of Rickie Weeks) filling in for Dustin Pedroia who is on the disabled list, drove in Castillo on a ground out to Carlos Sanchez, who made a great jump throw for the out at first. Down 4-3, Mookie Betts would tie the game with a double and erasing the early deficit.
The lead would see-sawed back and forth. Chicago would retake the lead in the third inning, when Abreu proved his hand was OK driving in Melky Cabrera for his 53rd RBI. Down 5-4, the Red Sox would answer scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded, Betts drove in another run with a well placed slow grounder to Alexei Ramirez. That was followed up with a slow chopper from Hanley Ramirez to third in which Tyler Saladino couldn't field it cleanly. The inning ended with a very loud out as David Ortiz drove a deep fly ball to center, but JB Shuck had enough room to make the grab.
Chicago would tie it again in the fifth thanks to Boston gifting a run. With one out, Abreu hit a double down the left field line. Manager John Farrell deemed it wise to intentionally walk Avisail Garcia, to have a lefty vs. lefty match up against Shuck. That call didn't work out because Shuck himself would walk to load the bases. Alexi Ogando would enter the game, and on the first pitch against Alexei Ramirez, Hanigan couldn't handle it as the ball went to the backstop for #WILDPITCHOFFENSE.
Boston would retake the lead in the bottom half, 7-6, when Saladino committed his second error of the night on a slow ground from Hanigan, allowing Pablo Sandoval to score. Chicago would tie the game up at 7-7 thanks to back-to-back doubles by Carlos Sanchez and Eaton.
Matt Albers was finally able to keep Boston scoreless in the sixth frame, which allowed the White Sox tilt the see-saw in their favor again by scoring two runs in the seventh, leading 9-7. Five lead changes over the course of seven innings made it a very entertaining, but exhausting watch.
Bullpen trio of Albers, Zach Duke, and Jake Petricka did a wonderful job picking up John Danks, pitching 3 2/3 scoreless innings allowing only two hits while striking out three.
It got interesting again in the ninth as Boston mounted a rally against David Robertson. Down 10-8 with runners on first and second, Hanigan hit another slower chopper to Saladino. Unlike the fifth inning, Saladino was able to make the play throwing a strike to Abreu ending the game.
- Adam Eaton was a home run short of the cycle.
- Carlos Sanchez has a 10 game hitting streak.
- Your daily update on Jeff Samardzija: