|Chi. White Sox (76-60) «||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||4||7||13||1|
BOSTON -- If the Chicago White Sox end up winning the AL Central, Sunday's victory may be a game that's talked about as the key to their late-season run.
Gordon Beckham's bases-loaded walk with two outs pushed Chicago ahead in a four-run ninth inning that lifted the White Sox to their sixth straight win and an improbable 7-5 comeback victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
"It definitely feels like it's one of those ones we snatched away," Chicago's Paul Konerko said.
The win completed a sweep of the three-game weekend series and came after Chicago trailed 5-3 entering the ninth inning and had two outs. The White Sox remained 3½ games behind Central-leading Minnesota, a 6-5 winner over Texas.
"That's a huge game for us," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't want to say this could be the biggest game for us, but the happiest with how we did it."
Alex Rios walked leading off the ninth against Papelbon, stole second and scored when Quentin's bloop fell in front of diving centerfielder Ryan Kalish and skipped behind him. Quentin was alert and went to second when it was left uncovered as the middle infielders had headed to the outfield. Castro's liner to the right-center gap also fell in front of a diving Kalish.
"[Kalish] just couldn't get to it. He tried to make a great play," Boston manager Terry Francona said of Quentin's hit.
The White Sox had comebacks in the final two games of a three-game sweep in Cleveland.
"It shows we're going to go hard this last month," Rios said. "We've been down a couple of times [this week]."
Guillen was glad to see Beckham patient facing a young pitcher in a tight spot.
"He fouled a couple off and waited for his pitch. The kid was kind of wild," Guillen said. "A lot of times when you're a hitter you're anxious and you want to win it."
Papelbon gave up four runs, two hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.
"I'm coming in, in a situation where every little thing matters," Papelbon said. "Trying to come into a ball game and get the hardest outs of a ball game and every little thing matters. Bloop hit, ball right off the glove. Those things turned into being big things for them. An 0-2 walk and a bloop hit. I just didn't finish the job."
Victor Martinez had a two-run homer for the Red Sox, who lost both games of a day-night doubleheader by 3-1 scores on Saturday.
Manny Ramirez, who went 3 for 8 on Saturday when the White Sox swept the twinbill, was not in the starting lineup, but was hit by pitch from Papelbon on the right arm pinch hitting in the eighth inning. He left the field for a pinch runner, trotting off to a chorus of mostly boos.
Kalish broke up a possible inning-end double play on Jed Lowrie's grounder with a take-out slide on second baseman Beckham before Martinez put Boston ahead 4-3 with his homer over the Green Monster seats against starter Mark Buehrle.
Bill Hall's run-scoring ground out had made it 5-3 in the eighth.
The White Sox chased Josh Beckett in the seventh and scored two runs with only one infield hit to grab the 3-2 edge. Juan Pierre walked leading off and stole his major league leading 54th base. After Omar Vizquel popped out, Beckett fired widely into center for an error trying to pick off Pierre, who advanced to third. Alex Rios walked and Bard relieved, striking out Paul Konerko, before Rios stole second.
Quentin then hit a hard one-hop grounder off Bard's glove that caromed to the pitcher's right. He recovered in time, but short-hopped a throw to first baseman Mike Lowell that bounced away as both runners came home.
Beckett gave up three runs -- one earned -- on nine hits, walked two and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings.
Buehrle gave up four runs, 10 hits, striking out six and walking one in seven innings.
Alexei Ramirez's RBI single had given Chicago a 1-0 lead in the second.
|Jonathan Papelbon is left scratching his head after blowing the save with just one out to go. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Chicago White Sox|
|Juan Pierre, LF||4||1||1||1||2||0||4||.279|
|Omar Vizquel, 3B||6||0||2||0||0||1||6||.284|
|Alex Rios, CF||3||2||1||0||2||1||1||.291|
|Paul Konerko, DH||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.318|
|a- Andruw Jones, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.223|
|Carlos Quentin, RF||5||1||3||2||0||1||2||.244|
|Brent Lillibridge, PR-RF||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.283|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||4||0||2||0||0||1||2||.262|
|Alejandro De Aza, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ramon Castro, C||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.309|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||4||1||1||1||1||1||1||.283|
|Mark Kotsay, 1B||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.238|
|b- Manny Ramirez, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.314|
|Mark Teahen, PR-1B||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.274|
|Gordon Beckham, 2B||4||0||1||1||1||3||5||.258|
|a-struck out for Konerko in the 9th|
|b-hit by pitch for Kotsay in the 8th|
|2B - Omar Vizquel (10, Beckett), Alex Rios (26, Beckett), Carlos Quentin 2 (24, Beckett, Papelbon), Mark Kotsay (16, Beckett)|
|RBI - Juan Pierre (37), Carlos Quentin 2 (82), Ramon Castro (20), Alexei Ramirez (58), Gordon Beckham (49)|
|2-OUT RBI - Juan Pierre (15), Carlos Quentin 2 (29), Ramon Castro (4), Gordon Beckham (17)|
|SB - Juan Pierre (54, 2nd base off Beckett/Martinez), Omar Vizquel (9, 3rd base off Beckett/Martinez), Alex Rios 3 (32, 3rd base off Beckett/Martinez, 2nd base off Bard/Martinez, 2nd base off Papelbon/Martinez), Alejandro De Aza (1, 2nd base off Papelbon/Martinez)|
|CS - Carlos Quentin (2, 2nd base by Bard/Martinez)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|E - Alex Rios (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Scott Linebrink (W,3-1)||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||4.50|
|Matt Thornton (S,6)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.61|
|WP - Scott Linebrink (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 125-75, Scott Linebrink 19-12, Matt Thornton 19-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 4-10, Scott Linebrink 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 31, Scott Linebrink 4, Matt Thornton 3|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Darnell McDonald, RF||5||1||3||0||0||2||1||.275|
|Jed Lowrie, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.271|
|Eric Patterson, PR-LF||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.224|
|a- Marco Scutaro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.272|
|Victor Martinez, C||4||1||1||2||0||0||3||.289|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||0||1||2||0||0||1||.259|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||1||3||0||0||0||0||.324|
|Mike Lowell, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.235|
|Bill Hall, LF-2B||3||0||1||1||1||1||0||.247|
|Yamaico Navarro, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.133|
|Ryan Kalish, CF||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.233|
|a-flied out for Patterson in the 9th|
|2B - David Ortiz (31, Buehrle), Adrian Beltre (39, Linebrink)|
|HR - Victor Martinez (14, Buehrle)|
|RBI - Victor Martinez 2 (57), David Ortiz 2 (84), Bill Hall (41)|
|2-OUT RBI - Victor Martinez 2 (17), David Ortiz 2 (36)|
|CS - Darnell McDonald (1, 2nd base by Buehrle/Pierzynski)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Daniel Bard (2, Throwing), Josh Beckett (1, Throwing)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Daniel Bard (BS,6)||0.2||1||0||0||0||1||0||1.80|
|Hideki Okajima (H,11)||0.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||5.45|
|Jonathan Papelbon (BS,7; L,5-6)||1.1||2||4||4||2||2||0||3.36|
|HBP - Ramirez (by Jonathan Papelbon)|
|WP - Josh Beckett (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 113-73, Daniel Bard 9-5, Hideki Okajima 10-7, Jonathan Papelbon 48-29, Dustin Richardson 6-2, Robert Manuel 19-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 7-3|
|Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 30, Daniel Bard 2, Hideki Okajima 2, Jonathan Papelbon 9, Dustin Richardson 1, Robert Manuel 3|
|Attendance - 37570|
|Game Time - 4:05|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - John Hirschbeck, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - James Hoye|