BOSTON — The White Sox bullpen did what John Danks couldn’t do — quiet a Red Sox lineup that kept coming after the visitors’ starting pitcher — and the Sox offense continued on a rare hitting spree for a 10-8 victory Monday night at Fenway Park.
The victory was the fifth in a row for the White Sox (47-50), who were coming off a four-game series sweep of the Cleveland Indians. The Sox, last in the major leagues in runs, have scored 6, 2, 8, 6, 10, 2 and 10 runs in their last seven games. They banged out 15 hits Monday, including a season-high nine for extra bases (two triples, seven doubles).
After Danks gave up seven runs (six earned) over 4 2/3 innings, Matt Albers (1-0), Zach Duke and Jake Petricka combined on 3 1/3 scoreless frames. The Sox bullpen, which into the game with a 1.98 ERA over the last 19 games, was nicked for one run against Robertson in the ninth on Pablo Sandoval’s RBI single that skipped past second baseman Carlos Sanchez with two outs.
The Red Sox brought the winning run to the plate, but Robertson got Ryan Hanigan to bounce out to third baseman Tyler Saladino — who committed his first two errors of the season — for the last out.
Catcher Tyler Flowers and Eaton (single, double, triple) each drove in a pair of runs, Flowers the go-ahead run in the seventh on a single that scored J.B. Shuck, who hustled out a leg double.
“The hustle double really was the one,” manager Robin Ventura said. “[Against] a tough lefty [Robbie Ross], and he comes in and gets it into center and hustles into second. That’s the other thing. We were pretty aggressive trying to take some extra bases. Shucky can play. You get him out there, and you like watching him play.”
Shuck played center while Eaton DH’d to give slumping Adam LaRoche a night off. LaRoche is expected to sit out Tuesday against Red Sox lefty Wade Miley as well.
“Melky is getting hot (12-for-26 over a six-game hitting streak) and a lot of guys are starting to hit the ball hard and swinging the bats well,” Eaton said. “And we’re catching some more breaks. Early on we didn’t catch any breaks and now we’re starting to find holes and drive guys in with two outs. It’s been good the last couple weeks.”
It’s been a good month for the Sox, who are 14-8 in July and trying to be a factor in the wild card picture. With the trade deadline looming Friday, and Tuesday starter Jeff Samardzija the subject of trade rumors, the Sox find themselves four down in the loss column behind the Minnesota Twins, who occupy the second wild card spot.
“We know where we stand,” Danks said. “We know we have to keep this up. We can only win one game at a time. So, we are having fun. This is a fun team. They all enjoy being around each other. Hopefully this run is a thing, a sign of things to come if you will. It’s going to be how we play the rest of the season.”
When Eaton caromed a fly ball off the Green Monster in his first at-bat as a DH and Saladino lined a shot into the right field corner, it marked the first time the Sox started a game with back-to-back triples since Chico Carrasquel and Nellie Fox on June 15, 1954. The Sox scored four in the first against Joe Kelly, but the Red Sox got two back in the first on David Ortiz’ 20th homer. They scored two more in the second to tie.
Cabrera doubled in his first two at-bats, giving him five consecutive multi-hit games, a career high. Cabrera (12 doubles in his last 30 games), Flowers, Carlos Sanchez, Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu each had two hits for the White Sox.
Sanchez extended his hitting streak to 10 games, raising his average to .225. Abreu stretched his hitting streak to seven.