Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz struggled in his 4 2/3 innings of work but Boston’s offense was able to bail him out by putting up 12 runs — including six in the second inning and three in the seventh — en route to its fifth win in seven games.
Red Sox 12, White Sox 8
Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.
August 24, 2009
Headliner: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs to lead the Red Sox, who out-hit the White Sox 13-8. Everyone in the Boston lineup had at least one hit or one run while J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell each hit their 16th home runs of the season. Not to go unnoticed, shortstop Alex Gonzalez picked up his first three-hit game as a 2009 member of the Red Sox.
Dirt dog: Despite walking two batters in a shaky seventh inning, righty Ramon Ramirez held the White Sox scoreless for 1 2/3 innings of relief. Ramirez took over for Buchholz, who was touched up for seven runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings and cooled down the White Sox bats just in time to give the Red Sox offense some room to pick up — and hold onto — a lead.
Better luck next time: Jose Contreras lasted just 2 2/3 innings after coughing up seven runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks. Contreras allowed six runs in the second inning through a three-run homer, a wild pitch, his fielding error and a bases-loaded walk.
Key moment: With Chicago up 4-1 and with two down and the bases loaded in the second inning, it appeared as though Contreras had worked his way out of the jam by forcing David Ortiz to ground a weak nubber down the first-base line. However, rather than allowing first baseman Paul Konerko to pick it up and end the inning, Contreras lunged for the ball and bobbled it, allowing Ortiz to rush by safely and letting Gonzalez score the team's second run while extending the inning. The tough frame didn’t end there for the White Sox righty. Contreras then walked Jason Bay on five pitches to force in the Red Sox' third run to cut their lead to 4-3. With Mike Lowell up and the bases still chucked, Contreras fired a wild pitch in the dirt to tie things up at four. Three pitches later, Lowell crushed an inside fastball high over the Monster in left to give the Sox a 7-4 lead.
On deck: Freddy Garcia will make his fifth start since 2007 when he takes the rubber at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. The 33-year-old veteran made his 2009 debut on Aug. 18, picking up the loss against the Royals after allowing five earned runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Now in his second stint with the White Sox, Garcia last pitched a full season in the majors as a member of the White Sox back in 2006 when he went 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA. That season was his sixth with 10 or more wins since breaking into the majors in 1999 with the Mariners.
In 13 career starts against the Red Sox, Garcia is 6-2 with a 4.78 ERA, including a 3-1 record with a 4.54 ERA in six career Fenway starts.
Taking on Garcia will be Sox southpaw Jon Lester. Lester broke a streak of four straight no-decision starts by topping the Blue Jays last week 8-1 in Toronto. Lester went eight innings and held the Jays to just one run on three hits. Lester, who is 1-1 in two career starts against the ChiSox, has held opponents to one earned run in three of his last four starts. The lefty ace is looking for his sixth win at Fenway this year and his first since July 25.