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Things just keep getting worse for Boston. On Saturday, the Red Sox’ playoff hopes had another nail put in their coffin, as the Red Sox were swept by the White Sox, both times by the score of 3-1. The losses leave the Red Sox 10.0 games back of the Yankees (a season-worst), 2.5 games back of the Rays, and just half a game ahead of the White Sox with 26 games left to play.
In Manny’s first game in Boston in a White Sox uniform, the White Sox struck first in the 2nd, with Paul Konerko and Ramirez himself singling; Konerko scored on the double play that followed. Despite Adrian Beltre’s single, Mike Lowell’s double, and Jed Lowrie’s walk, which loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with one out, Bill Hall struck out and Darnell McDonald grounded out to end Boston’s threat without damage.
Chicago threatened again in the 3rd, putting runners on the corners after Clay Buchholz recorded two quick outs. Then the White Sox attempted to pull off the Yankees’ trademark schoolyard delayed steal of home. Buchholz bluffed a throw to third and threw to second, but an alert Lowrie immediately fired to home for the out to end the inning. Only Brett Gardner can pull that move off.
Still, the White Sox were able to add another run in the 4th, before the Red Sox were able to get on the board in the 5th, thanks to two hits and a walk in between. It stayed that way until the 7th, when the White Sox led off with a double and attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Scott Atchison alertly threw to third to get the lead runner. A double then scored the runner on 1st, anyway.
Chicago nearly added another run in the 9th, trying the delayed steal of home again. Tim Wakefield caught the runner at first (Alexi Ramirez) napping, and he had to try for second and got caught in the rundown. A.J. Pierzynski thought about scoring, but was looked back to 3rd on the 1-3-4-3-6 pickoff. Jed Lowrie led off the 9th with a single, but Bobby Jenks was too much to overcome.
Only seven hits, one run, and four innings of bullpen work weren’t much to get excited about.
Everyone made their case, but David Ortiz was out in all four of his plate appearances, including three strikeouts. Ortiz strikes out more than Ben Roethlisberger when he tries to get a woman to consent for a change.
W: John Danks (13-9)
L: Clay Buchholz (15-6)
S: Bobby Jenks (26)
Once again, the White Sox struck first. This time, they led off the 3rd with a triple, and later scored a run when Jarrod Saltalamacchia dropped the ball when he was run into by the runner, Carlos Quentin. Quentin was hit by a pitch the following inning to load the bases with no outs. Fortunately, no runs were scored, though both teams were warned by the umpire. You want the game to be civilized, after all.
The Red Sox tied it up in the 5th, after Marco Scutaro drove in a run after Ryan Kalish walked and Bill Hall singled. But three straight outs later, the White Sox got out of the jam. The White Sox got the lead back and some insurance in the 7th, however. A single, double (coupled with a throwing error on Kalish), and sac fly plated two more runs.
And that was all the offense remaining on the night. With a struggling Red Sox offense, the White Sox had all the edge they needed to come out on top. Bobby Jenks, who recorded a save in the first game, did the same in the second after recording the final four outs.
This was a simple repeat of the first game, right down to the final score.
Surprisingly, Ortiz didn’t strike out, so the lack of team success is shared by all Red Sox participants.
W: Gavin Floyd (10-11)
L: John Lackey (12-9)
S: Bobby Jenks (27)