Jose Abreu crushed a three-run home run early, and the bullpen narrowly held on to lead the host Chicago White Sox past the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.
Yoan Moncada reached base four times as the White Sox snapped a two-game skid. Chicago (81-60) maintains a double-digit lead for first place in the American League Central.
Bobby Dalbec homered and tripled for the Red Sox, who have dropped four of five. Boston (80-63) remained atop the AL wild-card standings by one game with the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays each losing Friday.
The Red Sox trailed 4-0 before getting on the board on Dalbec’s solo shot leading off the fifth inning. After stranding a pair of runners in the sixth, the club would begin to rally in the seventh.
Dalbec started with a triple and scored on a Christian Vazquez groundout to make it 4-2. Danny Santana singled and moved to second on a wild pitch, coming home on an Alex Verdugo pinch-hit single to put the visitors within one.
Verdugo was forced at second on a grounder before rookie Garrett Crochet replaced Ryan Tepera, who allowed both runs, on the mound. Crochet got Kyle Schwarber to fly out to left to end the inning.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless eighth, Abreu fanned with the bases loaded in the bottom of the frame and Liam Hendriks worked around a leadoff single in the ninth for his 34th save.
Abreu put the White Sox up 3-0 when he crushed his 29th homer with two outs in the third inning off Tanner Houck. Robert’s two-out, run-scoring single in the fourth ended the Red Sox starter’s night.
Houck (0-4) surrendered the four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks, striking out one.
Chicago left-hander Carlos Rodon (12-5) returned from a few days’ extra rest with a sore shoulder to allow one run on three hits over five innings. He whiffed seven and walked none.
Xander Bogaerts (two hits) returned for Boston from a stint on the COVID-19 injured list. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez was a late scratch with back spasms.
–Field Level Media