Red Sox-White Sox Preview

The Boston Red Sox stayed mathematically alive for the

postseason with a win in their series opener against the Chicago

White Sox. The White Sox are eliminated, but they now know who will

continue to lead the club next season.

The Red Sox hope to stave off playoff elimination again Tuesday

when they continue their series against the White Sox at U.S.

Cellular Field.

Boston (87-69) is 5 1/2 games behind New York for the AL wild

card with six games remaining. The Red Sox won 6-1 on Monday while

the Yankees and first-place Tampa Bay – which leads Boston by six

games atop the East – both lost.

Despite only a remote chance of making the postseason, the Red

Sox have won four of their last five and nine of 14. Victor

Martinez, who went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored

Monday, is hitting .429 with 14 RBIs in his last 12 games.

Adrian Beltre had four hits and drove in two runs in the series

opener to give him 101 RBIs, his most since a career-high 121 in

2004.

“It’s always nice to get 100 RBIs and to help the team out,”

Beltre said. “But a good year would have been better if everyone

would have been healthy.”

The loss was the seventh in a row at home for Chicago (83-73),

which had won the final four games on its just-completed road

trip.

The defeat came hours after the club announced manager Ozzie

Guillen will return next season, ending speculation that he would

leave. Guillen, who has held the job since 2004 and led the White

Sox to the 2005 World Series title, is already under contract for

2011 with a team option for 2012.

“I asked him directly did he wanted to be here and be the

manager of the Chicago White Sox? He said, ‘Absolutely,'” general

manager Ken Williams said.

Guillen and the White Sox will try to avoid their first

eight-game home losing streak since May 19-June 3, 1989, when they

suffered an 11-game skid at old Comiskey Park.

They’ll face Red Sox right-hander John Lackey (13-11, 4.51 ERA),

who snapped a personal four-game losing streak Wednesday after

giving up one run and five hits in seven innings of a 6-1 win over

Baltimore.

Lackey lost to the White Sox in Boston at home on Sept. 4, but

pitched effectively, giving up three runs – one earned – and four

hits in seven innings of a 3-1 defeat. He is 0-4 with a 3.40 ERA in

seven starts versus Chicago since 2005.

White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin is 7 for 11 with three

home runs off Lackey.

Chicago starter Edwin Jackson (3-2, 3.18) will try to snap a

four-start winless streak of his own. After going 3-0 with a 1.47

ERA in his first four starts after the White Sox acquired him July

30, he is 0-2 with a 5.61 ERA in four September outings.

Jackson gave up three runs in seven innings of a 4-3 win over

Oakland on Wednesday, but did not get a decision. The right-hander

hasn’t faced Boston this season, but is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in his

last five starts against the Red Sox.

Martinez is 3 for 17 off Jackson. Boston right fielder J.D. Drew

has fared better, going 7 for 15 with four doubles and three

homers.