The White Sox came into Boston on Tuesday night looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss in the series opener. With Phillip Humber making his first start back off the DL and the bullpen struggling as of late, and Lester pitching for Boston with a massive career ERA vs. the White Sox, the pitching looked to be a question mark heading into this one.
The Palehose jumped on the board early, plating two in the first inning on the strength of a
walk followed by a 3 man hit parade courtesy of Dunn, Konerko, and Rios. The lead was short lived however as Humber surrendered RBI’s to Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez in the bottom half of the first evening the score at 2. The scoring continued right into the second as Alejandro De Aza would drive in Alexei Ramirez from second to give the Sox the 3-2 advantage early.
The offenses cooled down for a couple innings until the 4th, when a Tank double and a Bacon walk (followed by a grounder moving both men over) brought Kevin Youkilis to the plate with first base open and 2 outs. Lester would fall behind to Youk 3-0, setting up what looked like a good old fashion pitch around. But Bobby Valentine must have had other ideas as Lester followed his first 3 pitches with fastball strikes, giving the Greek god of walks a full count in a key situation. Well, Lester’s pay-off pitch was a hit- me-fastball right down the middle that ended up in the second row on top of the green monster. Hey Bobby, maybe its about time to finally start paying some respect to the Youka… I’m not sure how they strategize in Japan, but here in the Majors, we give guys respect who deserve it, in key situations.
Side note: Not only did Valentine single handedly run the beloved Kevin Youkilis out of town, but now hes getting torched by him in his own ballpark (and I love it, by the way). Youk is 4-8 with a homer, 2 doubles, 3 runs scored, 2 RBI and a walk in his first two games back at Fenway. Do us all favor Bobby V, get out of baseball, you’re a disgrace to this game.
Ok so, back to Tuesday night, Youk gives the Sox the 6-2 advantage. De Aza would drive in Alexei once again on a soft single in the 6th, giving the White Sox a 7-2 lead. Humber would depart after 6 innings pitched, giving up 2 earned runs on 6 hits while striking out 3, not too bad for his first start off the DL, not too bad at all. Brian Omogrosso relieved Humber in the 7th sitting the side down in order only to give way to Matt Thornton in the 8th. Thornton looked sharp early, surrendering a cheap infield hit to Crawford to lead it off, but getting the next two hitters. But with 2 outs and a man on third Thornton would give up a single to Will Middlebrooks, scoring Crawford, followed by a 2 run bomb to Kelly Shoppach cutting the White Sox lead to 2. Thornton finally got out of the 8th, making way for Addison Reed in the 9th. Addison came in and nailed things down, 1-2-3 to give the White Sox a big victory in bean town.
The Tigers and Indians both lost, which means the White Sox will pick up a game on both improving to 10 games over .500 and padding their slight AL Central lead to 3.5 over Detroit.
First pitch tomorrow is at 6:10 against the Red Sox and that will be over on Comcast Sports Net.