BOSTON — With one of the greatest pitchers in major league history in attendance Monday night, the Boston Red Sox failed to put together a performance worthy of his presence.
The Red Sox followed up a pregame ceremony retiring the number of Pedro Martinez by falling behind early and dropping their second straight game to the Chicago White Sox, this one by a final score of 9-4.
GAME IN A WORD
The White Sox shelled their hosts for a second straight night, pelting Red Sox starter Wade Miley and reliever Justin Masterson for 10 extra-base hits and 10 hits total.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The proverbial nail in the coffin for the Red Sox came in the most bizarre way possible.
With Boston trailing by three runs in the top of the sixth inning, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu lofted a fly ball to deep right-center field. Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts ranged over to make the catch, but after doing so tumbled over the wall and lost possession of the ball as he slammed to the ground in the Boston bullpen.
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After a Chicago challenge, umpires overruled the initial ruling of a completed catch, giving Abreu a two-run home run and the White Sox a commanding 7-2 lead.
ON THE BUMP
— The game began some nasty deja vu for Red Sox fans.
After Joe Kelly allowed four first-inning runs in Monday’s loss, Miley did him one better (or worse, really) Tuesday by letting up five before recording his third out. The White Sox batted around in the first inning, touching the left-hander for three doubles, two singles and a walk.
Miley later worked around a first-and-third jam in the third, then completed a scoreless fifth despite allowing two doubles in the frame. The leadoff man in that fifth inning, Melky Cabrera, was gunned down at the plate while trying to score on a passed ball.
After Abreu’s home run, Miley’s outing was over. He was charged with seven runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out five.
— The first batter Masterson faced stroked a triple into the triangle. The right-hander got a strikeout to end the inning, but Geovany Soto walloped his first pitch of the seventh over everything in left field for a solo home run.
The White Sox scored their final run of the ballgame in the eighth when Adam Eaton reached on a leadoff hit-by-pitch and scored on an Abreu double.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Just as David Ortiz did Monday, Pablo Sandoval got the Red Sox back to within striking distance. The third baseman landed a two-run home run into the Monster seats in the second inning after Hanley Ramirez led off the frame with a single.
— Betts left the game following his over-the-wall tumble and was evaluated for a concussion. Rusney Castillo replaced him in center field and went 1-for-2 with a single.
— The Red Sox had little luck all night against White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija, who went eight-plus innings. Three of Boston’s seven hits against the right-hander came in the ninth, ultimately chasing him from the game.
Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz, Ramirez and Sandoval all singled as the Red Sox plated two ultimately meaningless runs in that final frame.
— On the visitors’ side, Cabrera was a monster, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and a triple and falling a homer short of the cycle. Abreu also swung a big bat, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Simply the best.
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Game 3 of this four-game series is set for Wednesday night. Rick Porcello takes the mound for Boston after consecutive good outings, while the White Sox counter with southpaw Jose Quintana, who is fresh off a complete-game shutout of the Cleveland Indians in his last start. He owns a 3.56 ERA.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images