Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Chi White Sox leads 1-0 (as of 7/19)

Game 1: Thursday, July 19
Chi White Sox4Final
Boston2
Game 2: Friday, July 20
Chi White Sox3Final
Boston10
Game 3: Saturday, July 21
Chi White Sox2Final
Boston11
Game 4: Sunday, July 22
Chi White Sox5Final
Boston8

White Sox 4

(43-51, 24-26 away)

Red Sox 2

(56-39, 31-19 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 19, 2007

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    CWS 100002010 4 6 0
    BOS 020000000 2 11 0

    W: J. Vazquez (7-5)

    L: D. Matsuzaka (11-7)

    S: B. Jenks (26)

    Pierzynski sends reeling Red Sox to third straight loss

    A CLOSER LOOK
    • Summary: A.J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with a trio of RBIs, Paul Konerko hit his 21st home run and pitcher Javier Vazquez held Boston to two runs in 6 1/3 innings as the Red Sox lost for their third straight game.

    A.J. Pierzynski
    Pierzynski

    • Turning point: With Boston trailing 3-2 in the seventh with one out, David Ortiz singled against Ryan Bukvich to bring up slugger Manny Ramirez. Ramirez launched the ball to the deepest part of ballpark on a 1-1 count, but Chicago's Jerry Owens chased it down in the Fenway triangle, reaching out to grab it a few yards in front of the 420-foot marker. Kevin Youkilis then struck out to end the inning.

    • Dice-K's rough day: Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka took the loss, going five innings and allowing three runs on two hits while allowing six walks and striking out six.

    • Figure this: Vazquez improved to 4-0 in his last six starts.

    • Quotable: "He pitched himself into a box where a single meant a few runs." -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Matsuzaka

    -- ESPN.com news services

    White Sox 4, Red Sox 2

    BOSTON (AP) -- Daisuke Matsuzaka had trouble with his control, and A.J. Pierzynski made him pay.

    The White Sox catcher went 3-for-4 with three RBIs on Thursday night -- twice delivering RBI singles after Matsuzaka issued multiple walks -- and the Chicago White Sox beat the plummeting Boston Red Sox 4-2.

    "A.J. came up big for us, two times," said center fielder Jerry Owens, who chased down a line drive by Manny Ramirez near the 420-foot marker to help preserve a one-run lead in the seventh.

    Javier Vazquez (7-5) allowed two runs, nine hits and two walks, striking out five in 6 1/3 innings to win his fourth consecutive decision. Paul Konerko hit his 21st homer for the White Sox, and Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

    Matsuzaka (11-7) allowed three runs and two hits while striking out six. But he bunched his walks together -- two in the first and three in the sixth -- and both times Pierzynski was there to drive in the runners.

    "He pitched himself into a box where a single meant a few runs," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

    The Red Sox have lost three straight, five of seven and eight of their last 11 since sitting a season-high 12 games up in the AL East. The New York Yankees, who lost 3-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, remained seven games back in their increasingly realistic quest for a 10th consecutive division title.

    Boston trailed 3-2 in the seventh when Dustin Pedroia singled with one out -- his third hit of the game -- and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen pulled Vazquez so lefty Matt Thornton could face David Ortiz. Ortiz singled, bringing out righty Ryan Bukvich to face Ramirez.

    Ramirez went sprawling to the dirt on the first pitch, and on a 1-1 count launched the ball to the deepest part of ballpark. But Owens chased it down in the Fenway triangle, reaching out to grab it a few yards in front of the 420-foot marker and just one step from the bullpen fence.

    "I know Manny hits a lot of homers that way where he hit it," Owens said.

    Kevin Youkilis, who also saw an early brushback pitch from Bukvich, struck out to end the inning.

    Konerko hit a solo homer in the eighth off Hideki Okajima -- the first run allowed by the Japanese rookie in 17 innings. Okajima had not allowed a homer since John Buck hit one on the first pitch he threw in the major leagues, on Opening Day.

    After the start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 56 minutes, Matsuzaka retired the first two batters and then issued two walks, followed by Pierzynski's RBI single. Matsuzaka got Jermaine Dye on a grounder to short to end the inning, the first of nine consecutive batters he retired before three straight walks to start the sixth.

    With the bases loaded, Pierzynski singled home two runs to chase Matsuzaka and give Chicago a 3-2 lead.

    Boston had a chance in the second, when Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek singled to lead off the inning. Lowell came around to score on two groundouts, then Coco Crisp singled.

    Pedroia then got caught between first and second on his RBI single, and Crisp broke for the plate. Crisp was barely tagged out by Pierzynski, the catcher, while diving to get back to third base, ending the inning.

    Game notes


    Guillen said he is planning to start RHP Charlie Haeger on Tuesday against Detroit, depending on whether he works this weekend in Boston. Haeger has made three appearances, all in relief, going 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA. ... Red Sox RF J.D. Drew was out of the starting lineup to rest a balky hamstring on a wet night. ... RHP Curt Schilling threw a side session on Wednesday and is on track to start his rehab with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. ... Vazquez has not lost since June 11.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES