Bosox’ bats help Lester turn tables, hand White Sox 10-2 loss
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org July 31, 2011 12:04AM
Gordon Beckham, who hit a solo home run, can’t come up with the ball in the fourth inning. | David Banks~Getty Images
Updated: November 2, 2011 4:01PM
The Boston Red Sox were busy on two fronts Saturday night.
Off the field, they completed a trade for starting pitcher Rich Harden; on the field, they handed the White Sox a 10-2 loss.
Already with the American League’s best record but fighting to hold off the New York Yankees in the American League East, Boston showed off its offensive firepower with a 15-hit attack against a team that has been its worst headache.
Jon Lester (11-4) allowed only four hits through eight innings, two of them solo homers by Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham.
The loss, only the second in the last seven games for the White Sox, kept them three games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central but dropped them 11/2 games behind the second-place Cleveland Indians, who made their own dramatic move Saturday night by acquiring starter Ubaldo Jimenez from the Colorado Rockies.
Like his team, Lester previously had been victimized by the White Sox.
‘‘We’ve had some success against him, but today he was around the plate, and when those types of guys are on their game, you try to get to them early because it’s going to be tough to get them late,’’ White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Philip Humber (8-7) hadn’t pitched since July 17, but he matched Lester through four innings before Carl Crawford started a decisive fifth inning with an infield single. The Red Sox batted around in the inning, then repeated it in the ninth against Brian Bruney, scoring five runs with the help of back-to-back homers by Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis.
But it was the run the Red Sox scored in the eighth with two outs that drew the most boos from the U.S. Cellular Field crowd. It came after Josh Reddick walked with two outs but scored from first when Marco Scutaro singled to center field, where Alex Rios retrieved it but threw poorly to Beckham, who had no chance to relay home.
Rios declined to talk about the play after the game.
‘‘I won’t throw in the towel on [Rios],’’ Guillen said. ‘‘I’m not going to protect him like everybody thinks I am. I think [Reddick] should be at third, no doubt. The bad thing about that play was the bad throw to second base. [Rios] made a bad throw, and that’s why [Reddick] scored.’’
Guillen said Rios will play again today.
‘‘I know it’s not easy when you’re not playing well and people are on you every at-bat and every play,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘But this is Chicago. You’ve got to be tough and go out and perform.’’