BOSTON -- Melky Cabrera tallied four hits, Jose Abreu went deep and a solid Jeff Samardzija pitched into the ninth inning on Tuesday night as the surging White Sox cruised to a 9-4 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"It's outstanding," said Samardzija of the White Sox sixth straight victory. "The way these guys have been playing behind us pitchers is impressive, not only the runs, but the defense has been outstanding. [Tyler] Saladino had some great plays for me out there. Even our video staff was getting in on the action having a great day, [Mike] Kashirsky showed up today finally. Only took him about 85 games."
With the non-waiver Trade Deadline coming on Friday, Samardzija allowed four runs over eight-plus innings, but he pitched a better game than his line indicated, at one point retiring 13 batters in a row. It was the 10th consecutive start in which he pitched seven or more innings.
The Red Sox were again done in by a subpar effort from their starting pitcher, as left-hander Wade Miley surrendered seven runs on a season-high 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval connected on a two-run homer in the second inning, his first long ball since June 28, but Boston would not score again until the ninth as it fell to 2-10 since the All-Star break.
"I see the guys show up every day, they're doing their best," shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. "The work ethic is there. I don't see anyone loafing around showing less effort. As long as you show up every day and do the best you can, that's all anyone, especially [manager John Farrell] and his staff, can ask for."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Second verse, same as the first: For the second straight game, the White Sox jumped on a Boston starter in the first inning. They scored four off Joe Kelly on Monday and one-upped themselves with five on Tuesday against Miley. Geovany Soto's two-run double stood as the big hit of the inning, as Chicago has scored 14 first-inning runs over its last four games.
"We've seen it happen to us, so we know it can happen. We're still behind in the first-inning race," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, whose team has been outscored, 74-41, in the opening frame. "They've seen it before, and I think they come out aggressive and if it's in there, go after it. Before, we might not have felt like that inning would continue on. Right now, they feel like it's going to continue until the last guy bats." More >
You can put it on the board... wait… yes: Abreu picked up what might be the oddest home run in recent memory in the sixth inning. The White Sox slugger launched a long fly ball to right-center that was tracked down by center fielder Mookie Betts, who took two steps and leaped into the fence before tumbling over, into the Boston bullpen. As he landed on his upper back the ball came loose, so Ventura challenged what was ruled a catch. The call was overturned on review, giving Abreu homer No. 16 and the White Sox a five-run lead.
"The umpires saw the replay and they called it," said Abreu, through interpreter and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "I don't have anything more to say. It was a rule." More >
Wade stumbles early: Miley gave up five runs in the first and had the Red Sox playing catch-up the entire game. After striking out Adam Eaton to begin the inning, Miley allowed six of the next seven White Sox batters to reach base on five hits (three doubles) and a walk. The Red Sox are now 12-44 this season when their opponent scores first.
"Not a lot of command in the first inning," Miley said. "A lot of fastballs in the middle of the plate. Really just not a good effort [of] me making any adjustments that first inning. I just let it keep going. Probably had a couple opportunities to maybe minimize the damage and I didn't do a very good job of it."
"That's an unbelievable effort Mookie just gave to try to go run that ball down. That's kind of how he plays. He's going to give you everything he's got every out. Unfortunately, it didn't go for us. I thought he made an unbelievable play, whatever the rule states. It is what it is. But hats off to Mookie for the effort." -- Miley, on Betts' near-catch
INJURY CONCERNS Emilio Bonifacio doubled home a run in the first inning, but then crumpled to the ground about halfway down the first-base line during his inning-ending groundout in the third. The veteran infielder, who was serving as DH in this one, left the game when Carlos Sanchez pinch-hit for him in the fifth. Ventura said after the game the injury could be an oblique but was not certain.
Betts was removed with symptoms consistent with a concussion after his play on Abreu's drive in the sixth. Rusney Castillo replaced him in center field. More >
The Red Sox held a stirring pregame ceremony for Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez, who had his No. 45 jersey retired by the franchise. Martinez addressed a sellout crowd at Fenway Park and was congratulated on the field by several former teammates and Red Sox greats, including Carl Yastrzemski, Curt Schilling and designated hitter David Ortiz. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Red Sox lost a challenge in the sixth inning when Miley attempted to pick off Eaton, who was ruled safe after diving back to first base ahead of the tag. The play was allowed to stand as called following two minutes and 20 seconds of review.
WHAT'S NEXT Away:Jose Quintana threw his first career complete game and first shutout all in one during his last trip to the mound against the Indians. Quintana gets the call as this series continues on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET, carrying a 1-0 record with a 1.27 ERA over three career starts against Boston.
Red Sox:Rick Porcello pitched his best outing in weeks against the Tigers on Friday, holding his former club to one run over seven strong innings, and the right-hander will try to stay on track when he faces the White Sox on Wednesday night. Infielder Josh Rutledge, acquired in a trade with the Angels on Monday, and reliever Jean Machi (waiver claim from the Giants) are expected to arrive in Boston before the game.