Chicago at Boston

W: J. Vazquez (7-5) L: D. Matsuzaka (11-7)
S: B. Jenks (26)
HR: CHW - P. Konerko (21)   BOS - None

Pierzynski's three RBI propel ChiSox past Dice-K, Red Sox

CBS wire reports

BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka had trouble with his control, and A.J. Pierzynski made him pay.

The White Sox catcher went 3-for-4 with three RBI on Thursday night -- twice delivering RBI singles after Matsuzaka issued multiple walks -- and the Chicago White Sox beat the plummeting Boston Red Sox 4-2.

"A.J. came up big for us, two times," said center fielder Jerry Owens, who chased down a line drive by Manny Ramirez near the 420-foot marker to help preserve a one-run lead in the seventh.

Javier Vazquez (7-5) allowed two runs, nine hits and two walks, striking out five in 6 1/3 innings to win his fourth consecutive decision. Paul Konerko hit his 21st homer for the White Sox, and Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

Matsuzaka (11-7) allowed three runs and two hits while striking out six. But he bunched his walks together -- two in the first and three in the sixth -- and both times Pierzynski was there to drive in the runners.

"He pitched himself into a box where a single meant a few runs," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

The Red Sox have lost three in a row, five of seven and eight of their last 11 since sitting a season-high 12 games up in the AL East. The New York Yankees, who lost 3-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, remained seven games back in their increasingly realistic quest for a 10th consecutive division title.

Boston trailed 3-2 in the seventh when Dustin Pedroia singled with one out -- his third hit of the game -- and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen pulled Vazquez so lefty Matt Thornton could face David Ortiz. Ortiz singled, bringing out righty Ryan Bukvich to face Ramirez.

Ramirez went sprawling to the dirt on the first pitch, and on a 1-1 count launched the ball to the deepest part of ballpark. But Owens chased it down in the Fenway triangle, reaching out to grab it a few yards in front of the 420-foot marker and just one step from the bullpen fence.

"I know Manny hits a lot of homers that way where he hit it," Owens said.

Kevin Youkilis, who also saw an early brushback pitch from Bukvich, struck out to end the inning.

Konerko hit a solo homer in the eighth off Hideki Okajima -- the first run allowed by the Japanese rookie in 17 innings. Okajima had not allowed a homer since John Buck hit one on the first pitch he threw in the major leagues, on opening day.

After the start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 56 minutes, Matsuzaka retired the first two batters and then issued two walks, followed by Pierzynski's RBI single. Matsuzaka got Jermaine Dye on a grounder to short to end the inning, the first of nine consecutive batters he retired before three consecutive walks to start the sixth.

With the bases loaded, Pierzynski singled home two runs to chase Matsuzaka and give Chicago a 3-2 lead.

Boston had a chance in the second, when Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek singled to lead off the inning. Lowell came around to score on two groundouts, then Coco Crisp singled.

Pedroia then got caught between first and second on his RBI single, and Crisp broke for the plate. Crisp was barely tagged out by Pierzynski, the catcher, while diving to get back to third base, ending the inning.


  • Guillen said he is planning to start RHP Charlie Haeger on Tuesday against Detroit, depending on whether he works this weekend in Boston. Haeger has made three appearances, all in relief, going 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA.
  • Red Sox RF J.D. Drew was out of the starting lineup to rest a balky hamstring on a wet night.
  • RHP Curt Schilling threw a side session on Wednesday and is on track to start his rehab with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday.
  • Vazquez has not lost since June 11.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Dice-K's inconsistent outing reflects the difficult stretch for Terry Francona's slumping BoSox.  (AP)
Dice-K's inconsistent outing reflects the difficult stretch for Terry Francona's slumping BoSox. (AP)

Players of the Game

D. Pedroia
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0

A. Pierzynski
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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April 21, 2017
This weekend in baseball: AL Central (1:19)
Chicago White Sox
Jerry Owens, CF5010010 .241
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4100131 .255
Jim Thome, DH2200310 .288
Paul Konerko, 1B3111202 .270
A.J. Pierzynski, C4033010 .260
Jermaine Dye, RF3000115 .227
Rob Mackowiak, LF4010022 .282
Josh Fields, 3B4000014 .234
Juan Uribe, SS4000013 .215
HR - Paul Konerko (21, Okajima)
RBI - Paul Konerko (58), A.J. Pierzynski 3 (32)
2-OUT RBI - A.J. Pierzynski (10)
SB - Jerry Owens (9, 2nd base off Snyder/Varitek)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Jermaine Dye 1
DP - Konerko-Uribe
PB - A.J. Pierzynski (7)
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez (W,7-5) 6.1922250 3.73
Matt Thornton0100000 4.96
Ryan Bukvich (H,2) 1.2100010 4.11
Bobby Jenks (S,26) 1000010 3.79
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 109-69, Matt Thornton 4-4, Ryan Bukvich 16-11, Bobby Jenks 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 3-10, Ryan Bukvich 1-2, Bobby Jenks 1-1
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 29, Matt Thornton 1, Ryan Bukvich 5, Bobby Jenks 3
Boston Red Sox
Coco Crisp, CF4010110 .266
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5031012 .321
David Ortiz, DH4010011 .320
Manny Ramirez, LF4020001 .294
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4000025 .309
Mike Lowell, 3B4120001 .308
Jason Varitek, C4010011 .270
Wily Mo Pena, RF3000111 .205
Julio Lugo, SS4111001 .218
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (29), Julio Lugo (43)
2-OUT RBI - Dustin Pedroia (9)
Team LOB - 9
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka (L,11-7) 5233660 3.99
Manny Delcarmen 1100010 1.15
Javier Lopez 1000020 3.46
Hideki Okajima 1211011 0.97
Kyle Snyder 1100110 3.03
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 109-63, Manny Delcarmen 20-13, Javier Lopez 21-17, Hideki Okajima 13-10, Kyle Snyder 19-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 6-3, Manny Delcarmen 1-1, Javier Lopez 1-0, Hideki Okajima 1-1, Kyle Snyder 1-1
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 23, Manny Delcarmen 4, Javier Lopez 3, Hideki Okajima 5, Kyle Snyder 5
Game Information
Attendance - 36913
Game Time - 3:34
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Paul Schrieber