Whatever it is, the Chicago White Sox seem to have it whenever they take on the Red Sox. Chicago looks like world-beaters versus Boston, with the latest example coming in a relatively one-sided affair Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Behind another strong effort from Phil Humber and a 15-hit attack, the White Sox picked up a 10-7 win over a sloppy bunch in the other dugout. With the win, Chicago has taken six in a row at Fenway Park and 12 of its last 14 games against the Red Sox, who had a costly error in the White Sox' four-run second inning and committed a base-running blunder that didn't help their cause.
The winning streak at Fenway is the White Sox' longest since a seven-game run that bridged the 1958 and 1959 seasons. Also, including three straight wins to close out the season series last year, Chicago has won five in a row overall against the Red Sox by a combined score of 35-18.
That five-game swoon matches Boston's longest in the series since 1997. No American League team has a better record against the Red Sox since 2008.
The 10-7 triumph wasn't even as close as the score would indicate. The White Sox raced out to a 10-1 lead through the first seven innings, and simply had to hold on late. Every Chicago starter but one had at least a hit, all but two had an RBI and seven of them scored at least one run.
It was at Fenway last year when the White Sox put a pretty big nail in Boston's coffin. After the opener of a scheduled three-game series was rained out on Sept. 3, Chicago took both ends of a doubleheader the following day and then rallied with four runs in the top of the ninth to steal a 7-5 win in the finale. That left the Red Sox 7 1/2 games out of a playoff spot with just 25 games to go.
A few weeks later, the White Sox officially eliminated Boston from playoff contention with a victory at U.S. Cellular Field. Two nights after that, they destroyed Jon Lester's bid for 20 wins by pasting him for eight runs in four miserable innings.
Victories in the first two meetings this season are not nearly as damaging as many of those last September, but they have followed a troubling trend for the Sox. The red ones, that is.