White Sox can't keep with Red Sox

White Sox can't keep with Red Sox

CHICAGO -- Despite coming into Saturday's game leading the Majors with a .318 average with runners in scoring position, the White Sox went 1-for-10 in their second straight loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

But it wasn't just the offense to blame for the 9-6 loss. It was not a good day for the White Sox on all sides of the ball.

Starter Freddy Garcia lasted only five innings and gave up five earned runs on eight hits. The White Sox bullpen, which owned a 2.96 ERA over its previous 15 games, then came in and surrendered four runs. Every Red Sox batter had at least one hit.

"We did not play well today," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen admitted. "We did not pitch well. We did not get the hits at the right time. We left a lot of guys on base and that's the reason we didn't win. We got the opportunity a couple times and we didn't do anything. Our pitching staff ... just couldn't hold them."

The Red Sox are giving the White Sox a taste of their own medicine from last year's American League Division Series. The White Sox swept the Red Sox in three games to head onto the AL Championship Series. In Game 3, former White Sox reliever Damaso Marte loaded the bases with no outs, but Orlando Hernandez came in to get three outs, ending the Red Sox thoughts of a comeback. In the seventh inning of Saturday's game, the White Sox had the bases loaded with no outs and Red Sox relievers Javier Lopez and Greg Hansen came in to retire the heart of the White Sox order.

"You're going to do it sometimes, and sometimes you're not," said Jim Thome, who made the first out. "That's part of the long haul of this game. You don't lose sleep over it."

The White Sox started off the game on the right foot. Leading, 1-0, after the second, Garcia gave up runs in both the fourth and the fifth frames, but the White Sox offense came back to tie up the game each time.

Jermaine Dye continued to be the driving force of the Chicago offense. After driving in their only two runs in Friday's loss, he hit two home runs for three RBIs. However, after those two home runs, he went 0-for-3.

Thome hit his 30th home run of the year in the fifth to tie the game at 5, but the Red Sox bullpen came in and only allowed one run.

"We battled and we did a good job. They just kept scoring, and with their bullpen ... they just shut the middle of our lineup down," Thome said. "If you do that, you're going to win some games.

With the Red Sox winning the first two games of this series, the White Sox streak of nine straight series wins is already broken. Going into Sunday's contest, the White Sox are in danger of getting swept for the first time all year.

"During the season, when good teams play each other you can¹t really put a gauge on what that means, because different things happen as the year goes on," said Paul Konerko, who went 1-for-4. "I thought this time [in the] middle of last year... [that] they were a better ballclub than us. We kind of got going, and beat them in the playoffs, and who knows, maybe that¹ll happen again."

Chicago got swept in its final series before the All-Star break last year by the Oakland A's, but then came back after the break to sweep the Indians.

In a twist of irony, reliever David Riske got the loss. Riske was acquired from Boston by the White Sox, who sent them Minor League prospect Lopez in return. Lopez came in a bases-loaded situation in the seventh to strike out Thome.

Leslie Parker is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.