CHICAGO -- Octavio Dotel saw no room for error and no reason to blink when he came on in the seventh.
Sure, Mike Lowell was at the plate. Yes, the bases were loaded. And, by the way, a one-run lead was hanging in the balance.
"I just tried to throw strikes," Dotel said. "The last thing I wanted to do was walk that guy."
"It was the perfect time for us because of our situation, where we're at," Dotel said. "We really need to win. Thank God everything came through my way."
He came in with Chicago clinging to a 6-5 lead with one out in the seventh after Matt Thornton walked Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and J.D. Drew to load the bases. Lowell sent a grounder toward Juan Uribe at third, who started the double play, and Dotel retired the side in the eighth.
"Guy throwing hard, threw me a good pitch, it sunk," said Lowell, who had a three-run homer offset by two errors.
Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances, and the White Sox hung on after a brutal 6-2 loss the previous night. Not only did they briefly fall out of first place, they lost Jose Contreras to a season-ending Achilles' injury early in that game, after he was activated from the disabled list.
The Red Sox, who had won six of eight, jumped ahead when Lowell went deep in the first, but the struggling Clay Buchholz (2-8) couldn't hold it. He is 0-6 in his last eight starts and still is searching for his first win since May 2, after a White Sox team that leads the majors in homers rallied behind the long ball.
Dye led off the second with his 27th homer, and Quentin and Thome hit two-run shots in the third to make it 5-3. Gavin Floyd (12-6) got the win even though he struggled at times, allowing five runs and seven hits while striking out six and walking one in 5 1/3 innings. He improved to 7-1 after White Sox losses but lost his hair in the process.
With some prodding from Jenks in spring training, Floyd agreed to shave his shaggy locks if he won 12 games.
"I just wanted him to get a haircut," Jenks said.
The closer also believed it was a bet Floyd would win. His emergence is one reason Chicago is fighting for the division title, and with Contreras finished for the season, they'll need him to keep up the pace.
"I believe in what I can do," Floyd said. "You can't really change your attitude because of that."
It was another rough outing for Buchholz, who allowed seven hits, five runs and a season-high three homers while throwing 74 pitches in three-plus inning - his shortest outing this year.
A.J. Pierzynski delivered a broken-bat single with one out in the third, and Quentin sent the next pitch out to left-center, tying it at 3. After Dye singled, Thome gave the White Sox a 5-3 lead when he drove a hanging breaking ball an estimated 431 feet to right -- his second homer in as many games, his 24th this season and his 531st in all.
"Tough to swallow, whenever you go out there and you have a game plan and execute it and it still doesn't work out," Buchholz said.
The White Sox got a run against David Aardsma in the fifth, but the Red Sox answered with two in the sixth to pull within 6-5.
Floyd left with a 6-4 lead after allowing a leadoff triple by Drew in the fifth and one-out singles by Jason Bay and Sean Casey. Thornton came in and threw a wild pitch on a third strike to Jason Varitek, allowing Bay to score. Alex Cora then struck out to end the threat.
The Red Sox stayed in it thanks to Justin Masterson, who allowed one hit while striking out five in 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
"We just couldn't push that tying run across," manager Terry Francona said.
- Pedroia extended his road hitting streak to 29 games when he doubled in the first inning, the longest by a Red Sox player since Tris Speaker hit in 29 straight in 1913.
- Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will miss at least two starts and go on the disabled list because of a stiff right shoulder, Francona said.
- 1B Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the lineup because of a sore left shoulder.
- The White Sox placed Contreras on the 15-day disabled list with a ruptured left Achilles' tendon, a season-ending injury. They also recalled RHP Lance Broadway from Triple-A Charlotte, optioned LHP Boone Logan and purchased infielder Chris Getz's contract from the minor league club.