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Red Sox 4, White Sox 1: Early bullpen move foiled

Rick Renteria doesn’t ask too much of Mike Pelfrey, but he isn’t rewarded

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

After being burned by trying to get an extra inning out of Mike Pelfrey on May 15, Rick Renteria made a proactive move by lifting his starter after five shutout innings in favor of Anthony Swarzak while trying to protect a 1-0 lead.

Hopefully Renteria believed in his process well enough to do it again in the future, because his logical thought process wasn’t rewarded. Instead, Swarzak had an his second-worst outing of the year, giving up the only four runs White Sox pitchers allowed in his inning of work.

It started innocuously, with Swarzak getting a popout from Andrew Benintendi before Xander Bogaerts dropped a soft single to left. But Mitch Moreland followed with a soft single of his own, which Leury Garcia effectively turned into a double when he airmailed a throw to third (good job by Swarzak backing up).

Since the ill-advised heave took away the double play, Renteria called for an intentional walk of Jackie Bradley Jr. to load the bases. It almost resulted in a double play, but Josh Rutledge was able to beat out his soft grounder to short to tie the game. Pablo Sandoval then dropped a single to left for another run, and Christian Vazquez followed with a double to left center to open up a thee-run lead.

Swarzak didn’t give up a whole lot of great contact, but the Red Sox seemed ready for him, diving over the outside corner to get to his slider. Swarzak shook off Kevan Smith before Vazquez’s decisive double on such a pitch. His ERA jumping from 1.16 to 2.76 as his reward.

On the other side, Drew Pomeranz was able to sidestep several threats to throw seven innings of one-run ball, and the bullpen carried it the rest of the way to take the series.

The White Sox had a number of decent scoring opportunities, but only Tim Anderson was able to convert on one, roping a second-inning double to drive in Avisail Garcia.

Afterward, lots of chances went by the wayside.

Third inning: Leury Garcia makes it to third base with one out after a single, stolen base and a wild pitch on said stolen base. But Melky Cabrera grounded out weakly to third, and Jose Abreu lined out to center.

Fourth inning: Smith flies out after back-to-back two-out singles.

Fifth inning: Yolmer Sanchez starts the inning on second after a wild throw by third baseman Deven Marrero. Leury Garcia botched a bunt to get Sanchez to third, but Sanchez stayed in the rundown long enough to allow Garcia to replace him at second. Alas, Cabrera and Abreu struck out.

Sixth inning: Todd Frazier and Avisail Garcia greet Pomeranz with singles, but get no further after Matt Davidson pops out, Anderson strikes out and Smith grounds out.

After that, the baseball gods stopped giving the White Sox opportunities, and Boston pitchers ended the game setting down the last 12 faced. Chicago was 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Record: 24-28 | Box score | Highlights