CHICAGO – After a poor start to the season, the Boston Red Sox offense is clicking right now.
Xander Bogaerts hit a grand slam in Boston’s seven-run eighth inning to give the Red Sox a 9-2 victory over the White Sox on Sunday.
Mitch Moreland went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and J.D. Martinez and Eduardo Nunez each had an RBI single as Boston won for the sixth time in seven games to move within a game of .500 at 17-18.
The surging Red Sox had a nine-run third inning in Saturday night’s 15-2 win.
“We know what kind of offense we have,” Bogaerts said. “We know it hasn’t been there on a consistent basis. I mean, I’m not saying we’re gonna get nine runs every game, but we know we’re capable of a lot.”
Jose Abreu and Ryan Cordell each had a solo homer for the White Sox, who have dropped three straight.
With the score tied at 2, Boston broke things open with an eighth inning that started in bizarre fashion.
With one out, Rafael Devers hit a liner off reliever Kelvin Herrera (0-2) that short hopped the wall and bounced straight to left fielder Nicky Delmonico. Devers was nearly halfway to second before he stopped and scrambled back to first.
Shortstop Tim Anderson caught Delmonico’s throw and fired to first base, but the ball skipped about 10 feet past Abreu as Devers slid in. Devers then got up and headed for second. Abreu scrambled after the ball, but slipped as he threw to second. The throw skipped past Anderson and rolled into center as Devers went to third. Anderson and Abreu each was assessed a throwing error.
“Nicky did a great job of getting to that ball and getting it in,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “It seemed like Timmy had a good angle when he got the ball in. But in that particular situation, if you’re gonna make a play, the ball’s got to be in the air to the first baseman.”
After a walk to Michael Chavis, Moreland singled to center to score Devers and give Boston a 3-2 lead.
Two batters later, with the bases loaded, pinch hitter Nuñez hit a swinging bunt down the third-base line. Third baseman Yoan Moncada had no play and let the ball roll, hoping it would go foul. The ball, though, stayed fair and hit off the third base bag, giving Nuñez an RBI single to make it 4-2.
Left-hander Caleb Frare replaced Herrera and walked Andrew Benintendi — firing a fastball over catcher Welington Castillo on ball four – to force in a run.
Right-hander Juan Minaya, who was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte before the game, was brought in to face Bogaerts, who capped the rally with the grand slam on an 0-1 pitch.
Brandon Workman (2-1) worked a scoreless seventh to get the win.
SKIPPING WHITE HOUSE
Cora and Bogaerts will not attend the ceremony at the White House on Thursday honoring the 2018 World Series champions.
Cora cited the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico as the reason for his decision.
“The government has done some things back home that are great, but we still have a long ways to go,” he said. “That’s our reality. It’s pretty tough to go celebrate when we’re where we’re at.”
Following the game, the White Sox optioned Frare and OF Adam Engel to Triple-A Charlotte. The team will make corresponding moves on Monday.
White Sox: RHP Herrera left with lower back stiffness. ... OF Jon Jay (right hip strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list Sunday, meaning he’ll be eligible to come off on May 27. Jay is scheduled to begin extended spring training Monday. The plan is for him to stay there 10 to 14 days and then begin playing rehab games if all goes well.
White Sox: RHP Ivan Nova (0-3, 8.33 ERA) takes the mound Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at Cleveland. Nova has an 11.25 ERA in his last three starts. RHP Trevor Bauer (4-1, 2.45) pitches for the Indian.