Good news: The White Sox greeted Chris Sale with his worst beating of the year.
In his return to the South Side, Sale allowed six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and a pair of walks over five innings and 111 pitches. The Condor recorded his first five outs by swinging strikeout, only to allow five consecutive White Sox to reach in the second, leading to three second-inning runs.
Tim Anderson cashed in Avisail Garcia with a single in the third, and Todd Frazier took Sale out to left for two more in the fourth. Sale’s ERA has creeped up over his last three starts from 2.19 to 2.34 to 2.77.
Bad news: Jose Quintana fared even worse.
The White Sox’ No. 1 starter again looked like No. 2, this time failing to get out of inning No. 3. He gave up seven runs on 10 hits over 22⁄3 innings, including three homers. While he gave up back-to-back dingers in a four-run second to dig a hole, the third inning encapsulates the frustration better.
Quintana gave up a shift-beating single, followed by a line-hugging swinging bunt single to open the inning. He came back to get a flyout and a strikeout, but hung a curve for the second straight inning to Deven Merrero, who homered for the second straight inning to give Boston a 7-3 lead. Quintana’s ERA has creeped up over his last three starts from 3.92 to 4.82 to 5.60.
Good news: Dan Jennings stepped up to provide 3 2⁄3 innings of relief.
In what could’ve been a second straight long day for the relief corps after a bullpen game on Monday, Jennings helped bridge the game from the fifth through the eighth.
Bad news: Jennings gave up a homer to the lefty he was brought in to face.
After Frazier homered off Sale to make it a 7-6 game, Michael Ynoa came back out to try to complete a second full inning of work in the fifth. He gave up a double and a walk with one out, and Rick Renteria then called for Jennings to face Jackie Bradley Jr. He hung two sliders on the inside corner on a 2-2 count. Bradley fouled off the first one, but he barreled the second one and hit it over the wall in right to make it a 10-6 game.
The Red Sox outhomered the White Sox 6-2 — three off Quintana, a second one off Jennings and a two-run shot by Mitch Moreland off Juan Minaya in the ninth (corrected). Those long balls effectively kept the lead at arm’s length over the course of the evening.
At least the White Sox were able to lure Craig Kimbrel into the game when he wasn’t absolutely necessary. John Farrell gave the ball to Adam LaRoche brothel-cop partner Blaine Boyer in the eighth, and the team Boyer once called evil in the biblical sense bedeviled him for four hits over two-thirds of an inning, including a solo shot by Tim Anderson to start it.
Melky Cabrera kept the inning alive with an infield single after fouling a pitch off the plate and into his face, and so in came Kimbrel to face Jose Abreu with runners on the corners. Abreu tapped back to Kimbrel to end the inning, but the threat achieved something. Even when Moreland took Minaya deep to extend Boston’s lead, Kimbrel came back out and ended up throwing 27 pitches after a bumpy ninth. That could be good news come tomorrow night.
*Matt Davidson wore the platinum sombrero by striking out in all five plate appearances. It’s the third such game for a White Sox hitter since last August. Before then, they hadn’t had a five-strikeout game since 1998.
*Red Sox pitchers threw 187 pitches, which is a lot. White Sox pitchers threw 201 pitches, which is more.