Rookie Daniel Palka found a memorable way to hit his 20th home run Sunday in the White Sox’ 8-0 victory against the Red Sox.
He pulled a long fly ball down the right-field line in the fourth inning that initially was ruled a homer. But after Palka trotted the bases and the team set off fireworks, umpires huddled and changed the call to a foul ball.
A few pitches later, Palka went deep again — this time keeping the ball fair down the right-field line.
“It was unique,” manager Rick Renteria said. “[Bench coach] Joe McEwing was looking at me and said, ‘I’ve never seen that.’ I said, ‘I never have, either.’ It always ends in a strikeout, a pop-up, a ground ball, something. It never ends up on a positive.”
The blast was part of a feel-good afternoon for the Sox, who had 15 hits and earned a four-game series split against Boston. The Sox have won seven of their last 10 games, 13 of 19 and 18 of 30.
James Shields (6-15) pitched six scoreless innings to earn the victory, and Tim Anderson set a career high with his 18th homer. Matt Davidson went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
“The second half has just been a whole different team,” Palka said. “Same guys, things are just clicking more consistently. We are good despite what the record [55-82] is. We’re playing our best right now.”
Ryan LaMarre left the game with a sore right hip and is day-to-day. Avisail Garcia, who did not play, also is day-to-day because of a sore right knee.
Welington Castillo wants to work with the Sox’ young pitching staff during the last month.
He was activated Sunday but did not play. He served an 80-game suspension from late May through late August after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
“[I’ll] try to help as much as I can every time I have the opportunity behind the plate,” Castillo said.
“And when I’m not playing, I’m going to try to help them on the bench. . . . I know we won’t go [to the playoffs], win the division, but we can take a lot of positive stuff in this last month, especially for these young guys.”
Castillo went home to the Dominican Republic during his suspension.
“It was hard,” said Castillo, who declined to go into specifics about his positive test. “I couldn’t sleep and stuff like that. At the same time, I know what happened. I know what kind of person I am.”
Left-handed reliever Caleb Frare made his big-league debut in the seventh, pitching a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.
Seven of Frare’s family members watched behind home plate.
“I almost teared up in the bullpen, and once I got out there, I looked around and was like, ‘This is a big stadium,’ ” Frare said. “And then I got the first ground ball and was like, ‘All right, you can do this. You’ve done this before.’ ”