Betts' dazzling grab tumbling over fence overturned, BoSox fall
The Chicago White Sox hit two home runs, one needing a video replay and the other leaving someone in need of a new windshield.
Jose Abreu and Geovany Soto homered and drove in three runs apiece and the surging White Sox won their sixth straight, beating the Boston Red Sox 9-4 on Tuesday night.
"We've been swinging the bats good. You don't want to think about it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of his club's recent good fortune.
It continued as the White Sox quickly spoiled Boston's pregame party for Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez by scoring five runs in the first inning. They scored again in the sixth on a play that qualified as both a great catch and a home run.
Boston center fielder Mookie Betts ran down Abreu's shot deep to right-center field, then went tumbling into Boston's bullpen. Betts grabbed the ball on the run and managed to hold on while twisting his body and hitting the wall with his lower back, but dropped it when he landed.
Initially called the third out, umpires reviewed the play for nearly three minutes before overturning the call and allowing Abreu to round the bases for his 16th homer.
"Even our video staff was getting into the action and having a great day," joked Jeff Samardzija, who pitched eight strong innings.
Samardzija (8-5) scattered four hits before unraveling slightly in the ninth, when he was pulled after allowing three straight singles to start the ninth during a meaningless two-run rally. Samardzija allowed four runs and seven hits, struck out three and walked one.
Samardzija had a big lead throughout the game, which Abreu extended to 7-2 on his homer in the sixth. Soto led off the seventh with a solo shot that cleared Fenway Park entirely, breaking the windshield of a car parked in a lot behind the Green Monster on Lansdowne Street.
Chicago tagged Boston starter Wade Miley for 10 hits and seven runs, all earned, over 5 2-3 innings, and finished with 14 hits. The last batter Miley (8-9) faced was Abreu.
Betts left the game and was being evaluated for a concussion.
"It was an unbelievable effort Mookie gave just trying to run that ball down. That's kind of how he plays. He's going to give you everything he's got," Miley said. "Unfortunately it didn't go for us. I thought he made an unbelievable play, whatever the rule states."
Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer for Boston in the second to cut Chicago's lead to 5-2. The Red Sox didn't score again off Samardzija until the ninth when an infield single by Hanley Ramirez drove in David Ortiz.
SO LONG SAMARDZIJA?
Samardzija pitched well enough to keep other teams interested in speaking with the White Sox before Friday's trade deadline. He had little to say about the rumors he could be headed elsewhere.
"I'm not a GM," he said. "I felt great. I'm just trying to get better every time out. You just want to get better and I think I've done that."
The White Sox have scored 19 runs in the first two games of the series. The winning streak has Chicago within two games of .500 (48-50).
Ventura said the White Sox are enjoying the confidence at the plate.
"Before we haven't felt like that, now we feel like it'll continue until the last guy bats," Ventura said. "I think it's just been a good mood. The offense -- everybody can enjoy that."
With little to celebrate, Boston fans resumed chanting "Pe-dro! Pe-dro!" for Martinez, whose No. 45 was retired in a pregame ceremony.
White Sox: DH Emilio Bonifacio, who started with slumping Adam LaRoche out of the lineup for the second straight game, left after the fourth inning with sore ribs and was replaced by INF Carlos Sanchez.
Red Sox: Betts was being evaluated for a possible concussion. ... RHP Clay Buchholz was transferred to the 60-day DL. Buchholz went on the 15-day DL July 11 with a right elbow strain.
White Sox: LHP Jose Quintana (5-9) makes his first start since shutting out Cleveland on Friday in his first career complete game.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (5-10) allowed just one run over seven innings and struck out six in his last start, a no-decision against Detroit.