White Sox tip Red Sox, claim series win at Fenway
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BOSTON — The White Sox’ starting pitching is rounding into form.
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez’s 6 1/3 strong innings Sunday was the latest contribution to an improved stretch from Sox starters. Lopez (2-4, 3.26 ERA) allowed one earned run and struck out six in the Sox’ 5-2 victory against the Red Sox. It was the sixth time this season he yielded one or no earned runs in an outing.
Sox starters have a 2.87 ERA in their last nine games. Lopez allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Twins in his previous start.
The Sox (22-41) took two of three from the Red Sox (44-22), who were without injured outfielder Mookie Betts, to complete a 4-3 road trip. They are 2-0-1 in their last three series, including a series victory at home last weekend against the Brewers.
‘‘I knew that I was facing a really good team, one of the best in the league, and that’s a challenge and a motivation, too,’’ Lopez said. ‘‘I didn’t lose my focus today.’’
Daniel Palka’s two-out double in the ninth — his second double of the game — extended a 3-2 lead to 5-2, and Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his fourth save of the trip. Soria struck out J.D. Martinez and Eduardo Nunez to end the game.
A day for Anderson
Shortstop Tim Anderson walked twice — once with the bases loaded for his 26th RBI — and alertly scored from second on Trayce Thompson’s grounder to first baseman Mitch Moreland in the sixth. Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello made the putout at first but stumbled, fell and threw home from his knees.
Anderson has 20 walks after walking only 13 times last season. He also made a tough play on a grounder to his right to retire Xander Bogaerts with two outs and a runner at third in the fifth, saving a run.
Manager Rick Renteria wouldn’t go so far as to give Soria an official ‘‘closer’’ title, but Soria — who has 212 career saves, including eight this season and five in his last five chances — looks to be settling into that role.
‘‘He’s not the only one we have to close, but he is doing a nice job,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘He could come in in the seventh and eighth, as well, if I see a matchup that suits him better. I wouldn’t be opposed to using him in those situations.’’
Nate Jones, the guy the Sox had in mind in spring training to be the closer, has four saves. Jones walked a batter and hit another in a third of an inning.
Jace Fry, who is emerging as the top lefty in the bullpen, got four outs for a relief crew that has a 2.48 ERA in the last 27 games.
This and that
Jose Abreu hit his 25th double off the wall in left-center to score Yolmer Sanchez in the first.
• Renteria said he expects center fielder Adam Engel to play Monday, when the Sox open a four-game home series against the Indians. Engel has missed the last four games with a strained hamstring.
Monday: Carlos Carrasco (7-4, 4.23 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (4-6, 7.08), 7:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 720-AM.
Tuesday: Adam Plutko (3-0, 3.93) vs. James Shields (1-7, 4.92), 7:10 p.m., Ch. 9, 720-AM.
Wednesday: Trevor Bauer (5-4, 2.62) vs. Dylan Covey (2-1, 2.22), 7:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 720-AM.
Thursday: Mike Clevinger (4-2, 3.31) vs. Carlos Rodon (0-1, 3.60), 1:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 720-AM.