The White Sox rallied in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night at Fenway Park, riding homers by Melky Cabrera and Brett Lawrie in the eighth inning against Koji Ueharaen route to an 8-6 victory over the Red Sox.
"There was something different about the last couple of days," said White Sox third basemanTodd Frazier. "The energy was there, the focus was there. We went down two runs and we came back. Then another two runs, and nothing changed."
The Red Sox nearly came back twice in the bottom of the eighth. First came a drive byXander Bogaerts that looked like it might clear the Monster and tie the score. However, a fan seated in the front row of the Monster Seats deflected the ball back into play.
The original call was that there was no fan interference, and no home run. After the crew-chief review, the call was overturned to fan interference, but because replay officials couldn't definitively tell if the ball would have been a home run, it stayed a double.
"It was a tough decision," said Bogaerts. "If the umpire called it a home run [initially], maybe it would have been tough to overturn it to a double."
Two batters later, Chris Young hit a towering drive down the line in left that would have been a go-ahead two-run homer, but it hooked just foul. The Red Sox challenged, but the call was confirmed.
Chicago will go for the rare four-game road sweep on Thursday afternoon.
The White Sox had come back earlier in the game as well, getting a two-run shot from Frazier against Eduardo Rodriguez to tie it up in the sixth.
It was a tough loss to swallow for Boston after taking the lead on Hanley Ramirez's solo shot to right-center in the bottom of the sixth. Rodriguez bounced back from three straight rocky starts and was in position to get the win before Uehara faltered. Over six innings, Rodriguez allowed four hits and three earned runs, walking two and striking out seven.
After the White Sox broke out to a two-run lead, the Red Sox rallied with four in the third to take the lead, but the game would have several more momentum swings.
"They just continue to grind," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of his club. "You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself, and it's not going to get you anywhere."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Frazier on fire: Frazier sent his 21st home run of the season into the Green Monster seats to tie the score at 4 in the sixth inning. He's now tied with Nolan Arenado and Mark Trumbofor the most home runs in the Major Leagues. Twelve of his homers have either tied the score or given the White Sox a lead.
"We're resilient," Frazier said. "We keep understanding we're in the game. I tell the guys all the time, keep it in slam range, grand slam range, and we always have an opportunity. We have guys who can hit homers at any time, so if we keep it to four runs or less, we always have an opportunity."
Hanley hammers one: The go-ahead homer by Ramirez came on a night he batted seventh for the first time since his rookie season of 2006. According to Statcast™, the blast had an exit velocity of 106 mph and traveled an estimated distance of 386 feet into the Boston bullpen in right-center. Ramirez reveled in the moment, seemingly doing a mock interview with himself in the dugout when he sat back down.
"I was just playing around," said Ramirez. "Trying to enjoy the game. It was a good game, but a tough loss."
First career hit: White Sox right fielder Jason Coats recorded his first Major League hit with a ground-rule double in the third inning. He jumped on the first pitch for a fly ball to right field. Ventura had had a hunch this would be the day.
"The quality at-bat you're looking for -- he'll get his hit. It's coming tonight. Mark it down," Ventura said before the game.
Koji's role in question: Uehara has been Boston's primary setup man all season, but that might have to change. Uehara has a 4.78 ERA and has given up five homers, two more than he gave up all of last season.
"At times it's the action to the split," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It hasn't had that late tumble. He's had it on occasions. Tonight was a night where he comes in with ample rest. It's been the late action to the split that's been the difference on a consistent basis versus years past." More >
INJURY UPDATE Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw left the game in the top of the fourth with a right shin contusion, an injury sustained after fouling a ball off his foot in Tuesday's game. The left-handed hitter had a single to center in his only at-bat. Deven Marrero replaced him at third.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS This was just Boston's third loss in 39 games when leading after seven innings.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox: Right-hander James Shields gets the start on Thursday at 12:35 p.m. CT looking to bounce back from his recent struggles. He took his fourth consecutive loss and second with the White Sox in his last start, at Cleveland, allowing eight runs through 1 2/3 innings. Shields is 2-9 with a 5.42 ERA in 13 starts at Fenway Park.
Red Sox: Sinkerballer Rick Porcello draws the start in the matinee finale (1:35 p.m. ET) of this four-game series. Porcello has plenty of familiarity with the White Sox from his time in the American League Central, going 10-8 with a 4.09 ERA in 21 career starts.