Red Sox 7, White Sox 4
BOSTON (AP)—The guys working the scoreboard in Fenway Park’s Green Monster couldn’t update the out-of-town scores fast enough for White Sox manager Jerry Manuel.
Maybe they were too busy trying to keep track of all the walks his pitchers were giving up.
Johnny Damon drew three of Boston’s 12 walks, including two with the bases loaded, and the Red Sox beat the White Sox 7-4 Friday night. Boston had just four singles and a double—the fewest hits the team has had at Fenway all season.
“That’s why this offense is so good,” said Todd Walker, who had two hits but was the only player in the Red Sox lineup without a walk. “We’ve got a good contingent of guys who are aggressive, and guys who can be patient.”
Boston, which began the night 1 1/2 games ahead of Seattle in the AL wild-card race, won for the eighth time in 10 games. The Red Sox, who trail the AL East-leading Yankees by four games, have 15 games left in the season; after the three-game series against Chicago, they do not play another team with a winning record.
Despite the loss, Chicago remained tied for first place in the AL Central with the Minnesota Twins, who lost 4-3 to Cleveland. Kansas City, which is 3 1/2 back, also lost.
“That’s the best thing to come out of tonight,” Manuel said. “We needed a little help tonight.”
With things not going their way in Boston, the White Sox turned their attention to the scoreboard to monitor game between the Twins and Indians.
“They need to update that thing out there because that thing stayed in the sixth inning a long time,” Manuel joked. “If you need help, I can go out there and operate it.”
Dan Wright (1-6) lasted just one-plus inning for Chicago, giving up four runs—three earned—on two hits and five walks. Scott Schoenweis walked one, Billy Koch four and Kelly Wunsch two before the sixth inning was over.
“We are under some pressure, and we can’t afford to lose much,” Wunsch said. “Minnesota gave us a free pass, and Kansas City lost. So, luckily, we can put this behind us and concentrate on winning the series.”
Everett doubled and scored on Joe Crede’s double to give Chicago a 1-0 lead in the second. But the Red Sox made it 4-1 when five consecutive batters reached base—three on walks—to chase Wright.
Chicago cut the deficit to one run when Everett and Valentin each hit solo homers in the fourth. But Boston responded again, and again did it by taking advantage of wild Chicago pitching.
Koch walked four batters in the inning—scoring one run—and Wunsch came in and walked in another before getting Todd Walker to fly out to right to end the inning.
Walker, who went 2-for-5, was the only Boston batter who didn’t walk.
Manny Ramirez was called for interference in the first inning when, after striking out, he walked across the plate and got in the way of Sandy Alomar’s throw to second. … Frank Thomas has homered in 10 of his last 20 games. … The Red Sox have no more scheduled off days. … Nomar Garciaparra was 7-for-40 on the last road trip, dropping his average on the road to .244. His average at Fenway Park is .382. … The Red Sox purchased the contract of OF Adrian Brown from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday and designated RHP Steve Woodard for assignment. … Paul Konerko has homered in all 14 AL ballparksexcept for Fenway Park.