Boston Hammers White Sox Again in Series Finale

May 26

Keuchel pitches for Chicago against Wacha before the Red Sox fly home. Coming into tonight, Martinez leads the MLB in batting average. Hernández hits Keuchel’s second pitch into the left-field seats, much like on Tuesday. His third homer of the year makes it 1-0 Boston. Two pitches later, Devers doubles down the left-field line as the Red Sox come ready to roll. A single right after by Martinez puts runners at the corners, and Devers scores on Story’s single to left to make it 2-0. Story has driven in 29 men in his last 21 games. Verdugo doubles off the right-field wall, narrowly missing a home run but driving in Martinez to make it 3-0. Seventeen pitches in, the Chicago bullpen is up and running. A walk loads the bases with two out, but Keuchel gets a strikeout to keep Boston from turning this into an early rout. The Red Sox are far from done, so stay tuned. With one out in the top of the second, Devers doubles to right to help the Red Sox pick up right where they left off not too long ago. He moves up to third before a walk puts runners at the corners. After a questionable strikeout by Bogaerts, Story continues his new (old) ways with a home run that just clears the boundary in left to turn this one into a blowout at 6-0 with his ninth of the year. He’s driven in 32 runs this month, which isn’t done yet. Meanwhile, Keuchel hasn’t even finished the second inning while accumulating 51 pitches. He knew it was gone before anybody else. That is Keuchel’s last inning.

Boston puts a runner at second with one out in the top of the third. He would move to third on a groundout but not score because of a fly out. Three consecutive singles start the bottom of the third as the White Sox load the bases. Vaughn hits a bases-clearing double to the right-field corner as the Boston lead that had been huge has now gotten a little bit tighter at 6-3. He moves to third on a groundout but does not score. With the score 7-3 in the bottom of the fifth, a runner is at first and one out when Vaughn homers to center as Chicago gets right back in it at 7-5. It’s amazing to think that it was 6-0 only about three innings ago, but the White Sox have power like the Red Sox do, and they’re flexing their muscles. Wacha is pulled out of the game as the game is in shambles all of a sudden. He cannot qualify for a decision. There’s a small moment of panic for Chicago in the eighth when Abreu and García collide going after a foul ball. The manager and trainer come out, but both players stay in the game. The Red Sox put runners at the corners with one out in the top of the eighth as they seek to put this game away. With two out, Verdugo’s single up the middle scores Martinez to make it 10-5 as Boston goes into double digits for the second time in three nights. Vázquez singles up the middle to score Bogaerts and make it 11-5, forcing the White Sox to change pitchers. It doesn’t make a difference. Dalbec steps up to the plate and lines a single to right to score Verdugo and make it 12-5. Jackie Bradley Junior hits an infield single that should have meant the end of the inning but instead goes wildly wrong and completely misses first base. The routine groundout that goes horrendously wrong allows Vázquez and Dalbec to score and also lets Jackie Bradley Junior go up to second on the throwing error. This game has gotten completely out of hand at 14-5. A passed ball moves Jackie Bradley Junior to third.

A groundout ends a nightmare inning for Chicago at last, but there’s still one more inning. That exhausts the Chicago bullpen, so Josh Harrison, a position player, comes out to pitch the ninth. It’s the second time in his career he’s been pressed into service as a reliever, and there’s practically nobody left in the stadium to watch it. Coming into the ninth, Boston’s lead has been trimmed to 14-7. Boston puts a runner at first and two out for pinch-hitter Plawiecki, who takes Harrison deep to make it 16-7. This is Plawiecki’s tenth of the year. It’s the second time this series the Red Sox have scored as many as 16 runs and accrued as many as 19 hits. As if it matters at all, the White Sox load the bases with two out in the bottom of the ninth before a fly out ends a 16-7 pummeling. Boston scores 33 runs in the series. This is the fourth straight series victory for the Red Sox.