Boston at Chicago

Red Sox beat White Sox in ninth; Lester stellar in victory wire reports

CHICAGO -- David Ross said a 5-year-old could have caught Jon Lester on Thursday night. That big hit in the ninth? Well, that was a nice swing by the veteran catcher.

Lester pitched eight sharp innings and Ross had a tiebreaking RBI double, leading the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

Lester (2-2) allowed one run and seven hits for his second successive victory after opening the season with two losses. The left-hander struck out nine and walked none, winning an impressive pitchers' duel with White Sox ace Chris Sale.

Lester retired his first 16 batters before Tyler Flowers singled in the sixth. Xander Bogaerts homered with two out in the sixth for Boston's only hit off Sale.

"[Lester] was very good. Threw pitches for strikes, was down in the strike zone. He established an outstanding rhythm right from the start," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "As well as Sale was pitching it needed everything that John gave us tonight."

The game was tied at 1 when Mike Napoli and pinch-hitter Mike Carp had back-to-back one-out singles in the ninth for the Red Sox. Ross then had a double to right against Ronald Belisario (1-2), driving home Napoli.

Jonathan Herrera added an RBI single against Scott Downs as the Red Sox captured the last two of their three-game set in Chicago.

"Obviously when you've got a guy going like Sale on the other side and he's throwing the ball as well as he did tonight, it's good to grind out those innings and get some runs on the board late for us," Lester said.

Koji Uehara picked up his third save in three tries with a scoreless ninth, getting pinch-hitter Jose Abreu to ground to third to end the game.

Sale struck out 10 and threw a career-high 127 pitches in seven innings. The left-hander was trying to become the first White Sox pitcher to start 4-0 since Jose Contreras in 2006.

"Going out there and giving everything you got," Sale said about the number of pitches. "A team rolls in there like this you can't have any consternation with that, you can't shy away from that."

Sale and Lester provided a big lift for the tired bullpens on each team. The Red Sox used seven pitchers in a 6-4, 14-inning victory on Wednesday, while the White Sox used nine, including infielder Leury Garcia for one inning.

The White Sox had a chance to grab the lead in the seventh but Adam Dunn was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score from first on Alejandro De Aza's two-out double into the right-field corner.

"You've got to take a chance like that especially the way Lester's pitching," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

Sale got some help from center fielder Adam Eaton in the first inning. With two outs, David Ortiz drove a 2-2 pitch to deep left-center field, but Eaton jumped and took a home run away by making a one-handed grab.

That was the closest either team came to scoring until Bogaerts connected for his first home run of the season, driving a 1-0 pitch deep to left.

The White Sox responded in the bottom half. Flowers got on for Chicago's first baserunner and Garcia followed with a ground-rule double to right. Eaton then reached on an infield single, tying it at 1.

"If you're a baseball fan that was a really good game tonight," Ross said. "Two big lefties -- probably two of the best ones in the game going at it -- and we came out ahead."

Alexei Ramirez's two-out single in the ninth extended his season-opening hitting streak to 16 games, setting a Chicago record.


Napoli was back in the lineup after missing Wednesday's game with a dislocated left ring finger. ... Abreu, who was 1 for his last 21 entering the game, was replaced in the lineup by Paul Konerko. ... Red Sox OF Shane Victorino is set to begin a three-game rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A Pawtucket and could join Boston for his season debut later next week. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list March 31 with a hamstring strain. ... Chicago purchased the contract of RHP Zach Putnam and designated LHP Donnie Veal for assignment. ... RHP John Lackey (2-1, 3.86 ERA) will start for the Red Sox on Friday in Boston against Baltimore RHP Chris Tillman (1-1, 0.84 ERA). ... RHP Felipe Paulino (0-1, 7.98 ERA) will pitch Friday for the White Sox in Texas against LHP Martin Perez (2-0, 2.70 ERA).

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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David Ross tags out Adam Dunn to end the seventh inning, then hits the winning double in the ninth. (USATSI)
David Ross tags out Adam Dunn to end the seventh inning, then hits the winning double in the ninth. (USATSI)

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Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4000001 .231
Xander Bogaerts, SS3111020 .268
David Ortiz, DH4000011 .222
Mike Napoli, 1B3110110 .304
Jonny Gomes, LF3000012 .194
   a-Mike Carp, PH1010000 .267
   Grady Sizemore, PR-LF0100000 .273
David Ross, C2011210 .267
Daniel Nava, RF3000113 .130
Ryan Roberts, 3B3000022 .105
   b-Jonathan Herrera, PH-3B1011000 .240
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF3000123 .227
Jon Lester, P0000000 .000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Gomes in the 9th
b-hit a bunt single for Roberts in the 9th
2B - David Ross (2, Belisario)
HR - Xander Bogaerts (1, Sale)
RBI - Xander Bogaerts (2), David Ross (2), Jonathan Herrera (3)
2-OUT RBI - Xander Bogaerts (1)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Daniel Nava 1
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester (W,2-2) 8711090 2.17
Koji Uehara (S,3) 1100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 112-75, Koji Uehara 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 5-9, Koji Uehara 1-1
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 30, Koji Uehara 4
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
Adam Eaton, CF4011011 .288
Marcus Semien, 3B4010012 .209
Dayan Viciedo, RF4000024 .293
Adam Dunn, DH4010010 .262
Paul Konerko, 1B4000011 .077
Alexei Ramirez, SS4010011 .381
Alejandro De Aza, LF3010011 .176
   a-Jose Abreu, PH1000001 .213
Tyler Flowers, C3120010 .395
Leury Garcia, 2B2010010 .250
Chris Sale, P0000000 .000
   Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
   Scott Downs, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for De Aza in the 9th
2B - Alejandro De Aza (1, Lester), Leury Garcia (1, Lester)
SH - Leury Garcia (2)
RBI - Adam Eaton (10)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Konerko-A. Ramirez, Konerko-A. Ramirez-A. Ramirez-Semien
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
Chris Sale 71113101 2.30
Ronald Belisario (L,1-2) 1.1322210 12.91
Scott Downs 0.2100000 10.80
IBB - Nava by Ronald Belisario
HBP - Bogaerts (by Chris Sale)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 127-77, Ronald Belisario 32-18, Scott Downs 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 4-7, Ronald Belisario 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Sale 26, Ronald Belisario 8, Scott Downs 2
Game Information
Attendance - 17454
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Cory Blaser