A win is a win: Red Sox sneak past White Sox
BOSTON — It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, especially against one of the worst teams in the American League, but any win at this time of the year is a good one as the Red Sox were able to do just enough to get by the White Sox 4-3 Friday night at Fenway Park.
The offense did just enough to get the job done as they scored once in the third on a bases loaded walk to Mike Napoli and then three in the fourth, highlighted by a two-RBI single from David Ortiz, snapping a 0-for-23 skid. The Red Sox were aided by a rough outing from White Sox starter Hector Santiago, who went just 3 2/3 innings allowing the four runs on 101 pitches. Victorino led the offense with two hits in the six-hit attack.
“Given the way he swing the bat [in the following at-bat], it looked like a load was off his shoulders,” manager John Farrell said of Ortiz’s single. “A two-out base hit, regardless of where it went or how hard it was hit, I just think the fact that he was able to get a big key hit in that moment and I thought he had good at-bats throughout the night.”
Ryan Dempster picked up his seventh win of the season, but he had to battle to do so. The veteran right-hander went 6 1/3 innings allowing three runs on five hits while striking out five. After walking the first two batters of the game, Dempster retired the next 11 before a lead-off double in the fifth. The White Sox scored a run in the fifth and two in the seventh off Dempster, including a solo home run to Avisal Garcia. The overall numbers are a bit misleading as Dempster did not pitch all that well, going against a sub-par White Sox lineup who came in scoring the fewest runs per game in the American League at 3.80.
Junichi Tazawa relieved Dempster and allowed an inherited runner to score before getting the final two outs of the seventh and then the first out of the eighth. Franklin Morales got the second out in the eighth before Koji Uehara came on to earn a four-out save.
The teams will continue their weekend series tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) where Jake Peavy will face is old team and go up against Jon Danks.
What they’ll be saying: The Red Sox could have gotten a little more production out of the offense, particularly on a night where Santiago really struggled with his command. The team left 10 runners on base as they couldn’t break the game open early in the game when presented with the opportunity … Victorino continued his lethal stretch of late by reaching base in three of his five plate appearances and recording an RBI for the fifth straight game, which matches a career-high. In his last 12 games, the right fielder is hitting .477 with 10 extra-base hits, including five home runs and 14 RBI … After recording the final four outs Uehara has now allowed seven base runners of the last 74 hitters he’s faced.