The White Sox took the lead with two homers in the top of the eighth.
Then they survived two home run challenges in the bottom of the eighth.
That’s a helluva way to get back to .500.
Trailing 6-4 in the eighth inning against the reliable Koji Uehara, the White Sox scored three via the long ball. Melky Cabera tied the game when he hit one on the screws out to right to drive in Adam Eaton, who led off with a walk. After Todd Frazier struck out, Brett Lawrie turned on an inner-half splitter and crushed it over the Green Monster to give the Sox a lead.
In came Michael Ynoa, in his first-ever attempt at high-leverage work. With Nate Jones and David Robertson overheating and Zach Putnam on the DL, he offered Robin Ventura the best chance at swing-and-miss stuff. Ynoa lived up to the billing through two batters, as Mookie Betts grounded out and Dustin Pedrois struck out.
Xander Bogaerts provided a reality check when he ripped a 1-0 fastball to left. It hit off the very top of the Monster, maybe a foot or so away from a game-tying homer. But it didn’t get a true bounce off the wall, and John Farrell came out to argue interference. It went to New York for a review, and while the replay showed that a fan did touch the ball, it didn’t appear to have ever cleared the wall.
After an intentional walk to David Ortiz — on five pitches, which would’ve been the highlight of other innings -- Chris Young almost brought in three runs with a towering drive to left. It couldn’t stay fair around the Fisk Pole, and another review confirmed that. With play resumed, Ynoa pumped a high fastball past Young for a swinging strike three.
By those standards, the ninth was nothing. But it was something, as the Sox tacked on one run and absorbed two HBPs. In between painful plunkings of Jose Abreu and Frazier by Robbie Ross, Cabrera muscled a single to center to score Eaton. Cabrera’s fourth RBI of the game gave the White Sox a two-run lead, and Zach Duke pitched around a leadoff single to close it out in far less stressful fashion.
And who benefited from the late-inning drama? None other than the charmed Jose Quintana, who couldn’t uphold an uncharacteristic level of support through six innings. He blew a 2-0 lead by allowing four runs in the third thanks to a variety of factors -- good Red Sox hitting, an ill-advised behind-the-back flip by Lawrie, a Dioner Navarro strike zone.
And when Frazier tied the game in the sixth with a two-run homer, Quintana gave Boston the lead by allowing a solo shot to Hanley Ramirez. His night ended on a one-out walk to Sandy Leon (who drew three of Quintana’s career-high six walks on the night), and the Boston catcher came around to score on an infield single by Bogaerts off Matt Albers.
Quintana had to fight everything over his 5⅓ innings, as he allowed six runs on eight hits and six walks. The Red Sox made him throw 111 pitches, and even then only struck out once.
The White Sox took their time solving Eduardo Rodriguez, even though he was only a two-pitch pitcher. Cabrera had good swings, including an RBI double in the first inning. The second run wasn’t as convincing, as a two-out error by Travis Shaw on Abreu’s grounder allowed Jason Coats to score. It wasn’t until Frazier conquered the Monster that the Sox seemed to lock in, and while Rodriguez exited in line for the win, the White Sox ended up beating the better parts of the Boston bullpen.
*Cabrera was the star, going 4-for-5 and falling a triple short of the cycle.
*While Tim Anderson went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts at the top of the order, Eaton scored three runs from the second spot. He went 1-for-4 with a walk, and made the other trip after reaching on a fielder’s choice.
*Eaton also racked up an outfield assist by throwing out Ortiz at home with an easy throw to end the second inning.
*Ventura predicted Coats would get his first hit, and the rookie came through with a ground-rule double in the third inning.
*Dan Jennings picked up the win with 1⅓ scoreless innings.