Adrian's three-run HR defeats Youkilis, White Sox

Adrian's three-run HR defeats Youkilis, White Sox

Adrian's three-run HR defeats Youkilis, White Sox
BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez redeemed himself in a big way on Monday night at Fenway Park.

The first baseman made up for a costly miscue in the first inning that allowed a run to score, blasting a game-winning three-run homer in the eighth inning to push the Red Sox past the White Sox, 5-1, in the first game of a seven-game homestand.

Gonzalez lifted a 2-1 offering from White Sox reliever Leyson Septimo over the Green Monster to give Boston its third win in four games after the All-Star break. It was Gonzalez's seventh home run and his first since June 24 against the Braves.

"I was looking for another fastball for a strike, being aggressive and he threw a fastball up in the zone that I was able to get to," Gonzalez said. "It feels great to win the game."

The eighth-inning rally started when Carl Crawford, making his 2012 debut, drew a walk to open the frame. David Ortiz also walked and Gonzalez delivered.

"It feels good to be able to see pitches," Crawford said. "Last year, I think that was the area I struggled in, so to be able to notice pitches real quick and to be able to be a little better at it is definitely comforting for me."

Gonzalez's errant throw to third base in the first inning allowed former Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis to score the game's first run.

In his first game at Fenway Park as a visiting player, Youkilis put on a show with three hits and a run scored.

Youkilis, who was traded to Chicago on June 24, received a standing ovation from the Fenway faithful before singling in his first-at bat. He scored from first on a ground ball during a wacky sequence: Adam Dunn grounded to second, Youkilis took third with third baseman Will Middlebrooks out of position on a defensive shift and then scored on a throwing error by Gonzalez.

It was the kind of hustle play that endeared Youkilis to Red Sox fans during his nine seasons with the club. But his dazzling return to Fenway could not produce a win.

"The place was pretty loud and rocking," Youkilis said. "It was cool, so I had to say 'Thank you' to everyone. I just wish it could end better and we could win the game."

Aaron Cook continued Boston's string of strong starting pitching coming out of the All-Star break and held the White Sox at bay with his sinker.

Cook danced in and out of trouble thanks to some timely ground balls and went seven innings. The right-hander allowed one unearned run on five hits and threw 97 pitches in a no-decision.

"I was able to get in a good rhythm and pound the bottom of the strike zone with my sinker and I knew they were going to be an aggressive team," Cook said.

Said Gonzalez: "If I was a better quarterback he wouldn't have given up a run."

It was Cook's second start this season with no walks or strikeouts. He's the first Red Sox pitcher to have multiple starts of at least five-plus innings with no walks or strikeouts at Fenway Park in the same season since Ted Wingfield in 1925.

"That's what he does, when you have that sinker you pitch to contact and he's not going to walk anyone," said Boston manager Bobby Valentine. "He had a really good sinker tonight."

Youkilis was not the only player who made his return to Fenway Park on Monday night, though.

Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-for-4 in his first home game since separating his shoulder on April 13 against the Rays.

Crawford singled up the middle in his first at-bat with the Red Sox since Sept. 28, 2011. He took third on a single from Ortiz and scored on a single by Gonzalez, showing off the speed Boston lacked at the top of its order for much of the season.

"I never started the season off with a base hit, so that did a lot for me," Crawford said. "So I was happy to start the game off that way."

Ortiz's line-drive single to right-center field extended his season-long hitting streak to 11 games. The slugger drew a walk in the eighth inning, his 10th straight game with at least one. Ortiz set a new Red Sox record for consecutive games with at least one hit and one walk, surpassing Ted Williams' mark of nine straight games in 1950.

But the designated hitter injured his right Achilles rounding second base on Gonzalez's homer.

"David's a little upset and a little sore, but it doesn't look like he pulled anything," Valentine said. "It's probably going to be some days [to heal] though."

White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod settled in after the first inning and retired 19 of the last 23 batters he faced following Gonzalez's RBI.

Axelrod befuddled the Red Sox over 6 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and striking out eight to tie a career high.

Pedro Ciriaco had another three-hit performance filling in for the injured Dustin Pedroia at second base. Since joining the Red Sox on July 6, Ciriaco has four three-hit games in seven starts.

Mike Aviles added an RBI single in the eighth.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.