The Boston Red Sox won’t try to replicate Wednesday’s performance against the Chicago White Sox any time soon. But they’ll take the end result any day.
The Red Sox overcame some offensive struggles Wednesday to defeat the White Sox in 14 innings at U.S. Cellular Field. Boston avoided its first four-game losing streak since 2012 by coming from behind to earn a 6-4 win.
Jon Lester and Chris Sale will battle Thursday in a matchup of two left-handed aces. Let’s first look at Wednesday’s action, which involved more than five hours of baseball.
– Wednesday’s 14-inning affair took five hours, 17 minutes to complete. The attendance was listed at 13,302, although you probably could knock off everything before the comma and have a more accurate ballpark figure for the final few frames.
– The Red Sox began the game with three straight hits. Dustin Pedroia doubled, and Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz each singled as Boston scored its first first-inning run of the season. The Red Sox were the last team in the majors to score a first-inning run.
The Red Sox didn’t collect another hit until the ninth inning, when Jonny Gomes’ swinging bunt single set the table for Grady Sizemore’s game-tying sacrifice fly. (A.J. Pierzynski’s sac fly in the eighth inning trimmed Chicago’s lead to one run.)
– Clay Buchholz gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits over six innings. He struck out six, walked two and looked very sharp at times before surrendering a go-ahead home run to Alexei Ramirez in the sixth inning.
– The Red Sox’s bullpen was excellent, although Edward Mujica, filling in for closer Koji Uehara, blew a save in the 11th inning.
Jordan Danks worked a leadoff walk, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Tyler Flowers’ RBI single.
– Chris Capuano earned the victory after tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
– It really seemed like the White Sox were hell-bent on giving the game to the Red Sox. Chicago issued 15 walks, including four in the eighth inning, two in the ninth and two in the 14th.
The White Sox ran out of pitchers and were forced to call upon utility infielder Leury Garcia to pitch the 14th inning with the score tied 4-4. Garcia recorded two quick outs before issuing back-to-back walks and surrendering a two-run double to Jackie Bradley Jr.
“He was actually kind of funky,” Bradley said of Garcia, who became the first White Sox position player to pitch since Casper Wells on June 28, 2013. “He was kind of throwing, like, rise balls, so I definitely wanted to keep my nose on it and not try to do too much.”
– While the White Sox continuously attempted to hand the game over to the Red Sox, Boston did its best to give it right back to Chicago. The Red Sox’s offense went just 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position — putting its season average with runners in scoring position at .184 — and left 16 men on base.
The Red Sox’s defense also was rather shaky. Third baseman Ryan Roberts committed a throwing error, and first baseman Daniel Nava let a pickoff attempt get by him in the first inning.
– Bogaerts reached base five times (one hit, two walks, two hit by pitches) and Pedroia reached base four times (two hits, two walks).