BOSTON — Let’s file Monday night’s Boston Red Sox-Chicago White Sox game away and never speak of it again.
The White Sox emerged victorious by a final score of 10-8 at Fenway Park after an ordeal of a game that took nearly four hours to complete.
GAME IN A WORD
Monday’s contest was one of the uglier games in an all-around ugly season for the Red Sox. The two starting pitchers combined to allow 12 runs while the teams racked up 27 total hits and completed just seven scoreless half-innings between them.
One particularly killer stat for Boston was extra-base hits. Chicago had nine of them: seven doubles and two triples.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The White Sox recorded the final out.
Yes, that’s a bit of a cop-out, but given the wildly unpredictable nature of this particular ballgame, one final ninth-inning rally seemed plausible right up until the final pitch was thrown.
The Red Sox did indeed mount a comeback in the ninth. Daniel Nava reached on a two-out walk and scored on a Pablo Sandoval single to cut Boston’s deficit to two, and Alejandro De Aza worked a 10-pitch walk to bring the winning run to the plate.
Ryan Hanigan grounded out to third, however, wrapping up a win for the visitors
ON THE BUMP
— First pitch Monday night came at 7:12 p.m. By 7:13 p.m., the Red Sox were trailing.
Yes, it was one of those nights for Red Sox starter Joe Kelly, who allowed the first six batters of the game to reach base (triple, triple, double, hit-by-pitch, single, E1) and the first four to score. The right-hander responded with a perfect second inning but was touched for another run in the third, and after allowing a one-out single in the third, he was done.
Kelly was charged with five runs in his 3 1/3 innings of work, and four of his seven hits allowed went for extra bases.
— Craig Breslow relieved Kelly and completed the fourth inning unscathed, thanks in large part to a fantastic running catch in center field by Mookie Betts.
Breslow was unable to replicate that success in the fifth, however, striking out the leadoff batter but proceeding to allow a double and consecutive walks (one intentional) before being lifted for right-hander Alexi Ogando.
— Ogando’s first pitch rolled past catcher Hanigan and to the backstop for a passed ball. Jose Abreu trotted home from third, tying the score at six runs apiece.
— Robbie Ross Jr. came on to work the fifth for the Red Sox and — like his predecessors — quickly ran into trouble. The southpaw allowed consecutive doubles to lead off the inning as the White Sox pushed another run across.
Sandoval, who was unable to get his glove on one of those two-baggers as it shot down the third base line, made an excellent diving play on a bouncing ball off the bat of Avisail Garcia to end the inning.
Ross returned for the seventh and surrendered another two runs, these the result of a leadoff double by J.B. Shuck and RBI singles by Tyler Flowers and Adam Eaton. The inning ended when Eaton was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double.
That second run proved to be the game-winner.
— Junichi Tazawa pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning — Boston’s first perfect frame since Kelly retired the side in order in the second.
— The White Sox scored one final run in the ninth against Tommy Layne. Garcia reached when his leadoff base hit tipped off of Sandoval’s glove and later scored on a Flowers double.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— David Ortiz continues to swing a big bat. He prevented the ballgame from spiraling out of control for the home team with a two-run home run to dead center field in the bottom of the first inning. It was his third homer in the last two games.
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That proved to be Ortiz’s lone contribution, however, as the designated hitter went hitless in his final four at-bats.
— Mike Napoli’s evening did not last long. The first baseman reacted to a called strike three in the bottom of the first by spiking his helmet, which bounced into home plate umpire Toby Basner. Basner immediately ejected Napoli from the game.
Nava took over Napoli’s spot and went 0-for-2, though he did walk once and reach on a hit-by-pitch.
— The Red Sox pulled even in the second thanks to a walk by Rusney Castillo, an RBI groundout by Jemile Weeks and doubles by Hanigan and Betts.
— That bottom third of the order got it done again in the fourth. After Sandoval grounded out to lead off the inning, the Red Sox responded with five consecutive singles to take a 6-5 lead — their first of the ballgame.
— After Chicago tied the game once again in the top of the fifth, Boston again rallied in the home half. Sandoval doubled, took third on a Castillo groundout and scored on third baseman Tyler Saladino’s second error of the game.
Hanigan reached on that throwing error but, since nothing Monday night was allowed to make sense, later was thrown out at third after misreading a passed ball.
— Castillo, who was a late addition to the starting lineup following the trade of Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Angels shortly before first pitch, went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored before being lifted in the seventh for a pinch hitter in De Aza.
De Aza singled in his first at-bat, putting runners on the corners with two outs and the Red Sox trailing by two. The next batter, Hanigan, ran the count full before striking out looking.
TWEET OF THE GAME
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Wade Miley will oppose Jeff Samardzija on Tuesday in Game 2 of this four-game series. That game will be a must-watch for Red Sox fans, as Pedro Martinez’s No. 45 will be retired in a pregame ceremony.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images