The White Sox gave away Saturday’s game to set up a rubber match, but they ended up taking the series by winning on the margins.
Reynaldo Lopez outpitched Rick Porcello, but the White Sox also outdefended the Red Sox, and they outhustled them, too.
Take Tim Anderson, for instance. The box score says he went 0-for-2, but he still factored into a three-run difference. At the plate, he drew a pair of walks — one with the bases loaded in the third, and one with the bases empty in the sixth. He came around to score with the latter one, and without the benefit of the hit. A Charlie Tilson bunt moved him to second, and he made it the rest of the way on a Trayce Thompson grounder to the right side. Rick Porcello had to race to beat Thompson (who was busting it in his own right), and he stumbled over the bag and crashed at the feet of the first-base umpire. Anderson, whose momentum toward home hadn’t entirely stopped, resumed running and slid safely to put the Sox ahead 31.
And right before Anderson drew the leadoff walk, he ended the bottom of the fifth with a fine ranging play to his right, including a strong throw that had enough to beat a diving Xander Bogaerts. That prevented a runner from third for scoring, so there are three impact plays in a three-run game.
The White Sox didn’t play flawless ball. Yoan Moncada fumbled a routine three-hopper to the right side that should’ve ended the seventh, but resulted in Boston narrowing the lead to 3-2. Fortunately, Jace Fry induced a popup to end the inning, then handled the eighth by himself, too.
But the Red Sox made their own mistakes.
The White Sox were able to take a 2-1 lead in the third because Rafael Devers whiffed catching the throw from second on what should’ve been a 4-5-3 double play ball. Abreu took third on the play, and eventually Porcello plunked Matt Davidson and walked Anderson to give the Sox a 2-1 lead.
Likewise, Mitch Moreland started the sixth with a deep drive to center. He rounded first base like he’d homered, but it hit the center of the wall, and Thompson played the carom well to hold Moreland to single. That came into play when J.D. Martinez grounded into a 5-4-3 double play the next batter up.
And in the ninth, Moncada reached when his single deflected off the foot of Matt Barnes, and Moreland couldn’t catch Barnes’ flip to first cleanly with the bare hand. Moncada was originally ruled out, but a challenge overturned the call. He moved to second on a groundout, and when Alex Cora intentionally walked Abreu, Daniel Palka made them pay with a double to the left-center gap. Moncada scored, and so did Abreu. A good relay would have beat Abreu by plenty, but with two outs, Nick Capra wagered on an imperfect one, and the White Sox put it out of bloop-and-a-blast range.
Throw in Davidson cutting down Devers on a play at the plate in the second inning to keep the score tied at 1, and the White Sox executed enough to win.
The same can be said for Lopez, who picked up his second with by getting the game into the seventh, doing a lot of damage with his fastball. He pitched 6⅓ innings, allowing just two runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks. The walks were contained to chunks of the third and sixth innings, when he lost his release point. The six strikeouts made up for it.
*The White Sox bullpen pitched 8⅔ innings of scoreless ball over the three-game series.
*Abreu put the Sox ahead 1-0 in the first with his league-leading 25th double.
*Both teams were just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
*The White Sox have taken series from the team with the best record in the National League and the best record in baseball on consecutive weekends.
Record: 22-41 | Box score