Chicago White Sox fall 6-4 in 10 innings — their 23rd loss this season after having a lead

The Chicago White Sox were three outs away from taking three of four from the Boston Red Sox.

They had to settle for a series split.

The Red Sox pushed across a run in the ninth to force extra innings, then scored twice in the 10th and held on to beat the White Sox 6-4 on Sunday in front of 21,055 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“It’s definitely a bummer,” White Sox starter Chris Flexen said. “We split and we had a good chance to take one there. We continue to fight. Guys are still swinging the bat very well here, putting up runs. I thought we still threw the ball well, just had a couple of them get away and that’s the game.”

Paul DeJong hit a three-run homer in the fourth to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead. But Boston scored once in the fifth and sixth to tie the score.

Gavin Sheets put the White Sox ahead again with an RBI single in the seventh.

David Hamilton began the ninth with a double against reliever Tanner Banks. With one out, he stole third. Former White Sox catcher Reese McGuire followed with a sacrifice fly to left to make it 4-4.

Manager Pedro Grifol said closer Michael Kopech was “under the weather.”

“He grinded through that outing yesterday,” Grifol said. “He was not at all available today and neither was (Jordan) Leasure.”

Jamie Westbrook gave the Red Sox the lead with a sacrifice fly to right in the 10th. Jarren Duran, who reached when reliever Michael Soroka couldn’t secure Andrew Vaughn’s throw to first earlier in the inning, scored on a single by Rob Refsnyder to make it 6-4.

The White Sox had opportunities earlier, loading the bases with two outs in the sixth. They elected to stay with catcher Martín Maldonado, who hit a fly ball to center that Ceddanne Rafaela tracked down.

“The Maldonado (conversation), it comes up every single day (with reporters) and I like what he does behind the plate and I value that tremendously,” Grifol said when asked about possibly pinch-hitting for him. “Some people don’t. I do.”

Maldonado, who went 0-for-4, is hitting .071.

“I’ve been in this game long enough to understand that’s the nature of the game,” Maldonado said. “The only thing you can control is keep working, put in my work on a daily basis. I’m doing that. The outcome at the end of the year is going to show up. I couldn’t be this bad for the whole season.

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“Every player they want to put up some numbers. They want to go out there and perform from both sides of the game. Nobody wants to strike out with the bases loaded. Nobody wants to give up a double with the bases loaded.

“Only thing I can do is control what I can control, keep working. I feel like my at-bats have been better lately than at the beginning of the year. This is the way the game goes every once in a while.”

The White Sox went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Grifol said he was kicking himself about an at-bat earlier in the inning, a lefty-lefty situation when Oscar Colás struck out against Brennan Bernardino with one out and runners on second and third.

“I’m going to go back and forth on that one 150 times,” Grifol said of deciding between Colás or using Danny Mendick as a pinch hitter. “I thought giving Colás the at-bat right there, he was going to make hard contact somewhere with the infield in.”

The White Sox did get the RBI hit from Sheets an inning later but saw the Red Sox rally late. It was their 23rd loss after leading this season.

“We took advantage of some of their mistakes there and we couldn’t quite put those finishing touches on them,” DeJong said. “Tough way to lose, but I liked the ways we played the last three days (winning Friday and Saturday). We gave ourselves a chance to win and that’s all you can ask for.”