For all the talk surrounding having to deal with former teammate Chris Sale on Tuesday, the White Sox couldn’t overlook first having to face David Price on Monday.
Price made his season debut for the Red Sox after spending the first two months of the season on the disabled list with elbow strain. But after Price limited the Sox to only two hits –including a Melky Cabrera three-run homer – over five innings, the Sox fared much better against Boston reliever Matt Barnes.
The Sox scored a pair of runs in the seventh inning off of Barnes, who surrendered a two-out, go-ahead single to Cabrera that led to a 5-4 win over the Red Sox in front of a paid attendance of 27,148 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Cabrera blooped a single over the infield, which scored Kevan Smith, who delivered an RBI double into the right field corner after Yolmer Sanchez led off the inning with a double. The two-run inning allowed the Sox to regain the lead after Mookie Betts skipped a solo home run off the top of the left field wall off of Sox reliever Gregory Infante to give Boston a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning.
The Sox bullpen contributed to the win with four scoreless innings, including in the ninth when David Robertson earned his eighth save. Juan Minaya (1-o) picked up the win after pitching a scoreless seventh inning before Tommy Kahnle and Robertson closed out the win.
Betts’ homer snapped a 3-3 tie after the Red Sox scored a pair of runs off of starter David Holmberg, who surrendered three runs despite allowing only two hits. Holmberg, who struck out two, walked two of the first three batters he faced in the fourth inning before Christian Vazquez got the Red Sox to within 3-2 with an RBI double. Jackie Bradley, Jr., followed with an RBI groundout.
The Sox threatened in the fifth inning when Price hit Smith and Adam Engle to give the Sox a pair of runners on with no one out. Smith advanced to third on a Tim Anderson fielder’s choice, but Price got Cabrera to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Price, who went 17-9 in his first year with the Red Sox last year, allowed only two hits while striking out four and walking two. Matt Davidson’s second-inning single was the only other hit Price allowed beside Cabrera’s three-run homer in the third inning that gave the Sox a 3-1 lead.
Monday’s win – the Sox fourth in their last five games – came a day before Sale takes the mound against his former team. The Sox honored Sale with a two-minute tribute video in the first inning. Afterward, Sale stood up outside the Boston dugout and tipped his cap to acknowledge the warm reception he received.
“He’s one of the best in the game, so it’s going to be a battle,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said before Monday’s game. “We’re going to try to have to do our best to get to him as quickly as we possibly can. Once he settles in, he’s pretty tough to get to.
“So we’re going to have to be a battle. He’s one of the best, and we’re going to do our best to try to compete.”
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