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Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox

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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. 

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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.

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