CHICAGO - All good things must come to an end, and so it was with the Red Sox' six-game winning streak, as the White Sox prevented a four-game Boston sweep with a 4-1 victory Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
After wins of 10-3, 10-3 and 1-0 in the first three games of the series, the Red Sox were stymied for six innings of no-hit ball by winning White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (2-3), who was seeking the 18th no-hitter in White Sox history and would have followed teammate Phil Humber's perfect game at Seattle just eight days earlier.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the White Sox, who climbed back to .500 (11-11), while the Red Sox fell back to one game below .500 (10-11).
Floyd lost his no-hitter bid in the top of the seventh when Dustin Pedroia knocked a one-out single just past the grasp of diving Chicago second baseman Eduardo Escobar. Adrian Gonzalez struck out, but David Ortiz blasted a two-out double down the right-field line, advancing Pedroia to third. Cody Ross singled, driving in Pedroia and moving Ortiz to third.
The White Sox countered with reliever Addison Reed to pitch to Nick Punto, who grounded out to Chicago first baseman Adam Dunn to end the inning and minimize the damage, leaving the White Sox still ahead 3-1.
Floyd pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowed just one run on three hits, walked one and struck out nine. Of his 111 pitches, 70 were strikes.
Red Sox ace Josh Beckett (2-3) suffered the loss, allowing all three Chicago runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out eight. Beckett tied a career high for pitches thrown in a game (126), of which 88 were strikes.
Even though they ultimately didn't score any runs in the seventh inning, the White Sox chased Beckett in that frame when Escobar singled, Alejandro De Aza and Brent Lillibridge walked to load the bases. Of note was the at-bat by Lillibridge, who wore Beckett down with 12 pitches before getting the free pass to first base.
Boston brought on reliever Scott Atchison, who got Alex Rios to swing at the first pitch, flying out to right field to end the inning and strand three more runners, which had been one of the White Sox' stories of woe during the four-game series.
The White Sox scored their fourth and final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth when Alexei Ramirez singled, Kosuke Fukudome walked and Dayan Viciedo belted an RBI single off Boston reliever Junichi Tazawa that scored Ramirez from second, upping Chicago's lead to 4-1.
White Sox lefty Matt Thornton pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to earn his first save of the season.
Chicago wasted little time in trying to keep Boston from a four-game sweep. The White Sox scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, which would prove to be all the offense they'd need.
De Aza singled to lead off the game, moved to second on Lillibridge's sacrifice bunt, scored on Rios' RBI single, and then Dunn stroked a two-run homer to right field to make it 3-0 in Chicago's favor.
Boston managed just one baserunner in the first five innings, that coming in the fifth when Ross worked Floyd for a two-out walk. However, Punto struck out to end any semblance of a threat.
Chicago had a chance to pad its lead in the third when Lillibridge singled and Dunn walked, but A.J. Pierzynski flied out to left to end the inning.
NOTES: Boston third baseman Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch just before game time with tightness in his lower left back. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Punto. ... Boston's 1-0 win over Chicago on Saturday was the first time the Red Sox have beaten the White Sox by that score since 1993. And, according to Elias Sports Bureau, winning Red Sox starter Jon Lester became the first Boston pitcher to start and win a 1-0 game in Chicago since Jim Lonborg at old Comiskey Park in 1969. ... Adrian Gonzalez knocked in the only run in Saturday's game, the 657th RBI of Gonzalez' career, but his first in a 1-0 game. ... Boston was shooting for a sweep of a road trip of at least seven games for just the second time in team history. They previously did it with a 9-0 road trip sweep of California (3 games), Seattle (2 games) and Oakland (4 games) in 1977. ... Coming into Sunday's game, Boston had outscored the Twins and Red Sox in the first six games of the seven-game road trip by a 45-19 margin. Also during that streak, the Red Sox led the Majors in team batting average (.312), runs (45), hits (69), extra-base hits (25), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.529) and on-base plus slugging average (.884). ... The Red Sox return to Fenway Park to begin a seven-day, six-game homestand against Oakland (April 30 to May 2) and Baltimore (May 4-6). ... Including Sunday's loss, the Red Sox are now 7-6 on the road and 3-5 at home.