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The Chicago White Sox squandered an early lead and fell 5-4 to the Boston Red Sox on Monday in the opener of a three-game series.
White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija could not contain the Red Sox’s Rusney Castillo, who had five RBIs in the first six innings. Jose Abreuhit a home run for the second consecutive game, a first-inning shot that was his 24th of the season. Red Sox starter Joe Kelly gave up two runs on five hits over 7 1/3 innings to win his fifth consecutive start. The White Sox rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the comeback fell just short.
The White Sox hoped to make up ground with some sub-.500 teams on the schedule, but they are just 2-2 over the first four games of the 10-game stretch. The White Sox fell to 58-64 on the season and need to go 23-17 the rest of the way in order to finish at least a .500 on the season, which would be a eight-game improvement from last season.
The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline continues to be the turning point in Samardzija’s season. He had delivered 10-consecutive starts of at least seven innings at that point, but since then he has lost all five of his August starts. In a rough month, the right-hander has pitched 28 innings and given up 28 earned runs, with seven home runs allowed.
It doesn’t take long for a game to get away from you as Samardzija showed in the second inning. After hitting Hanley Ramirez with a pitch in the left kidney area, Samardzija than gave up a single to Brock Holt. Castillo followed with what appeared to be a wind-aided three-run home run to center field and the White Sox never led again. Just how many pitches did the sequence take? The Red Sox went from trailing 1-0, with nobody on base, into the lead for good in a mere six pitches.
The White Sox will send LH Jose Quintana (7-10, 3.60 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in the middle game of the three-game series. The Red Sox will counter with left-hander Wade Miley (10-9, 4.41) in the 7:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.