CHICAGO (AP) Elvis Andrus is staying optimistic as the Chicago White Sox try to rebound from a shaky first half.
It helps that the AL Central is one of the major leagues' worst divisions.
“You're always a hot streak away to get into the race,” Andrus said. “This year our division hasn't been the best so far, which is kind of good for us in that regard.”
Andrus provided a big lift Saturday, hitting a game-ending single that sent the White Sox to a 5-4 victory over Kenley Jansen and the Boston Red Sox.
Luis Robert Jr., Andrew Vaughn, Yasmani Grandal and Jake Burger homered for Chicago (33-45), which had dropped nine of 12. Lance Lynn struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings in his first start since he tied a franchise record with 16 Ks during a 5-1 loss at Seattle last weekend.
“We got a chance to win the series tomorrow, and that's what it's all about,” Lynn said. “We got to kind of grind those things out and figure out how to win series one at a time.”
Pinch-hitter Gavin Sheets sparked the winning rally when he reached on a two-out error by first baseman Triston Casas. Pinch-runner Zach Remillard swiped second and Andrus lined a single into right against Jansen (2-4).
“Games like today, it shows how resilient we are as a team,” Andrus said.
Casas hit a two-run homer for Boston (40-38), which had won seven of nine. Rafael Devers had two hits, walked twice and scored two runs, and Christian Arroyo contributed a sacrifice fly.
Red Sox left-hander James Paxton pitched four innings of one-run ball before departing because of right knee soreness. Paxton said the issue flared up in his previous start Monday at Minnesota, but he thinks he will be fine for his next turn in the rotation.
“Just a little bit of soreness in my front landing knee,” he said. “So just need to strengthen that up.”
Josh Winckowski came in for Paxton and surrendered three runs - all on solo homers - and five hits in two innings. The right-hander allowed a total of three homers in his first 42 1/3 innings this season.
“He's been so good for us, keeping the ball in the ballpark and attacking hitters,” manager Alex Cora said. “But today he left some pitches up in the zone.”
Boston trailed 4-3 before rallying in the ninth against Kendall Graveman (3-3).
Jarren Duran singled with two outs and swiped second for the third time on the afternoon, giving him 14 steals in 15 attempts this season. He advanced on Graveman’s wild pitch and scoring the tying run on Justin Turner’s bloop single.
The Red Sox went on to load the bases on walks to Masataka Yoshida and Devers, but Graveman limited the damage by striking out Adam Duvall.
“He kept his composure and he had a big, big strikeout right there with bases loaded that gave us an opportunity to win it,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said.
Chicago grabbed a 2-1 lead on solo shots by Grandal in the second and Burger in the fifth. It was No. 17 on the season for Burger, who sported a new cleanly shaven look.
Casas responded with his ninth homer in the sixth for a 3-2 lead. Arroyo chased Lynn with a double, but Gregory Santos struck out David Hamilton for the final out of the inning.
Red Sox: LHP Joely Rodriguez (left shoulder inflammation) got two outs in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Worcester on Friday night. He was charged with one run and three hits.
White Sox: 3B Yoán Moncada (lower back inflammation) ran on Friday and fielded ground balls on Saturday. But Grifol said he is “still not even close to 100%.” “He's frustrated,” Grifol said. "He wants to be a part of it, but he can't right now."
Kutter Crawford (2-3, 3.74 ERA) pitches for Boston on Sunday in the series finale. The right-hander tossed five scoreless innings in a 10-4 victory at Minnesota on Tuesday. The White Sox hadn't announced their starter.
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