The Red Sox saw their six-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday following a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Not only does the loss put an end to Boston’s winning streak, it also drops them to 20-23 on the season.
After a 30-minute rain delay, the Red Sox lineup got to White Sox starter Lucas Giolito with two outs in the first inning. J.D. Martinez kept the inning alive with a single, advanced to second on an Alex Verdugo walk, and scored from second on a softly-hit RBI single off the bat of Alex Verdugo.
Boston appeared to have Giolito on the ropes the same way they had Dylan Cease on the ropes on Tuesday, but the savvy righty escaped any further damage by getting Trevor Story to ground out to Tim Anderson before settling in for the night.
Rich Hill, meanwhile, took a no-hit bid into the fifth inning before giving up a leadoff double to Jose Abreu. A.J. Pollock then reached base on a Rafael Devers throwing error, bringing Jake Burger to the plate with no outs and two runners on.
On the third pitch he saw from Hill, Burger demolished a 67 mph slider and deposited it 444 feet into the left-field seats to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead.
Hill retired the final three batters he faced to end his eighth start of the season on a more encouraging note. Over five innings, the veteran left-hander allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits, one walk, and one strikeout on 65 pitches — 49 of which were strikes.
In relief of Hill, Tanner Houck received the first and only call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen and impressed by scattering three hits, two walks, and three strikeouts across three scoreless frames. 34 of the 57 pitches he threw went for strikes.
While Houck was putting up zeroes, the Red Sox bats struggled to get anything going against Giolito and Co. After loading the bases off Kendall Graveman with two outs in the seventh, Verdugo grounded out to second to extinguish the threat.
Down to their final three outs in the ninth and matched up against White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, Enrique Hernandez and Martinez each drew a walk to ultimately put runners on the corners with two outs for Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts, however, popped out to shallow right field to end things there. When all was said and done on Wednesday, the Red Sox — despite out-hitting the White Sox 7-5 — went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base as a team.
Next up: Wacha vs. Keuchel in series finale
The Red Sox will go for the series win over the White Sox on Thursday night. Right-hander Michael Wacha will get the start for Boston while left-hander Dallas Keuchel will do the same for Chicago.
First pitch from Guaranteed Rate Field is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Rich Hill: Quinn Harris/Getty Images)