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Sox fight back, but a doubleheader sweep slips away

López rocked, but Encarnación bails him out with four hits

Chicago White Sox v San Francisco GIants
Monster start: Encarnación had four hits in Saturday’s nightcap, including a titanic blast to left.
Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

BOSTON — In spite of a terrible start from Reynaldo López, the White Sox had every reason to win tonight and sweep the first-place Boston Red Sox. But after clawing back to tie the game, 8-8, too many wasted opportunities led to a 9-8 loss.

Right from the start, the White Sox were squanderers, as a bases-full, one-out rally in the second inning went kaput with a Nick Madrigal 5-4-3 double play. And in the fifth, Chicago has the bases loaded with nobody out and it was a Leury García GIDP and Madrigal fly out that doused the flames.

That said, the White Sox had no business being in this game at all. López, who pitched seven shutout innings in his season debut, was crushed for five runs in the bottom of the second, in a Boston rally that sent nine batters to the plate and featured three consecutive, two-out doubles. López did rally and muscled through six innings to help spare the pen for a three-games-in-two-days scenario this weekend, but that 23 game score left some damage: eight runs, nine hits, two Ks, a walk and a homer.

But the White Sox fought right back, highlighted by a pair of home runs over the Green Monster. The first, off the bat of the smoking-hot Edwin Encarnación (now hitting .414 with 10 RBIs in eight games) — a three-run shot cutting the Boston lead to 5-3. In the seventh, Nomar Mazara went oppo taco with a runner on to tie the game 8-8. (Steaks are on Rey, Nomar, for getting your starter off the hook after a terrible effort.)

And it wasn’t only Chicago squandering opportunities, as Boston was dealt a bases-loaded, one-out scenario in the seventh, but Jace Fry got Kevin Pillar to chase and José Peraza to fly out to right to keep the score tied.

It was Evan Marshall who took the L, entering in the eighth and giving up a single, steal, sacrifice bunt, walk and single (to Rafael Devers, on fire) for Boston’s ninth run.

The rubber game comes tomorrow, with Dylan Cease facing Boston lefty Matt Hall.

NOTES: Lucas Giolito was diagnosed with biceps tendinits and will miss five to six weeks ... Mitch Moreland spiked Tim Anderson’s hand on a force out at second in the second inning, and left the game for precautionary reasons ... Boston starter Ryan Weber hit two White Sox batters (Yoán Moncada, Leury García) in the first three innings ... The Red Sox scored their eighth run on a cheapie Rafael Devers solo shot grazing Pesky’s Pole: 317 feet ... Devers, with a 6-for-10 doubleheader, with a double, homer, two runs and four RBIs, was named the Top MLB Star for Saturday ... Edwin Encarnación, 4-for-8 with a homer, three RBIs, three runs and a walk, was the Third MLB Star ... Encarnación is tied for second in the majors with 0.8 WAR.

Around the majors

  • David Price beat San Francisco with a four-hit, six-K shutout for Los Angeles. He was named MLB’s Second Star for Saturday.
  • Matt Olson hit two homers in Oakland’s 6-0 win over the Minnesota Twins, giving him three on the season.
  • Houston hit four home runs, including Carlos Correa’s third on the season, in beating the Angels, 7-1.
  • Tucker Barnhart had four hits (including a homer) and Mike Moustakas homered twice (for six on the year) in Cincinnati’s 8-4 win over Pittsburgh.
  • Arizona’s Luke Weaver stymied the Cubs on five hits, with a walk and seven K’s, hurling a 6-0 shutout using only 99 pitches.
  • All three runs in Miami’s 2-1 win over Atlanta came via solo homer, including two by Matt Joyce.