Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Boston leads 2-0 (as of 7/8)

Game 1: Friday, July 7
Boston7Final
Chi White Sox2
Game 2: Saturday, July 8
Boston9Final
Chi White Sox6
Game 3: Sunday, July 9
Boston5Final
in 19
Chi White Sox6

Red Sox 9

(53-32, 26-22 away)

White Sox 6

(56-31, 32-14 home)

1:20 PM ET, July 8, 2006

U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

123456789 R H E
BOS 000321210 9 15 0
CWS 010220010 6 13 1

W: J. Beckett (11-4)

L: D. Riske (0-2)

S: J. Papelbon (26)

Ortiz hits No. 31; Red Sox defeat White Sox again

CHICAGO (AP) -- When Josh Beckett watched three of his pitches sail over the fence, he needed some help Saturday to get his 11th victory.

It came from all directions.

Elias Says...
David Ortiz broke a 3-3 tie by hitting his 31st home run of the season, a two-run blast, in the top of the fifth, and then, after Chicago had scored a run on a wild pitch, Jim Thome responded with his 30th homer of the season to knot the game in the bottom of the fifth.
It was the first time in major-league history that, in a game prior to the All-Star break, two players had each homered, lifting their season totals to 30 or more.
• For more Elias Says, click here.

From David Ortiz's 31st homer. From clutch two-out hits from players at the bottom of the batting order. And from Boston's bullpen, which bailed him out of a no-out, bases-loaded situation in the seventh with the heart of Chicago's order at the plate.

Add it all up and the Red Sox had a 9-6 victory Saturday over the White Sox, their second straight win in the matchup between the last two World Series winners.

"I can't say enough of those guys coming in and getting out of that situation without giving up any runs," Beckett said of relievers Javier Lopez and Craig Hansen. "That's phenomenal to come in with no outs and Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye coming up. That's unbelievable."

Beckett, who had earlier given up two homers to Dye and one to Thome, left with an 8-5 lead after the White Sox loaded the bases on a single and two walks.

But Lopez, traded from the White Sox to the Red Sox on June 15 for David Riske, struck out Thome. And Hansen got Konerko on a foul fly to right and Dye on a soft liner to short.

"It was nice to be able to come in and get the ball in that kind of a situation," Lopez said.

"The game was won with Lopez and Hansen," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "If they have a hiccup or don't command, we're in a boat load of trouble. They executed pitches very well to dangerous hitters."

Thome also credited Boston's bullpen. Jonathan Papelbon got the final out of the eighth and worked the ninth for his 26th save in 28 chances.

"They kept scoring and we really couldn't with their bullpen," Thome said. "They kind of really shut the middle of our lineup down."

Ortiz, who on Friday night became the first Red Sox player to reach 30 homers before the All-Star break, continued his tear with a two-run shot to center off Freddy Garcia that broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth. It was his eighth homer in eight games over a span of just 27 at-bats.

"I don't want to stop," Ortiz said. "Hopefully I'll go like that the rest of the way."

Beckett (11-4) allowed five runs and 10 hits. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up three homers for a second straight start and has surrendered a major league-high 26.

Trailing 5-3 after Ortiz's drive, the White Sox tied it in the bottom of the fifth as Scott Podsednik scored from third on a wild pitch and Thome connected to center for his 30th of the season.

But the Red Sox won the game with clutch two-out hits in the sixth and seventh innings, especially from the bottom of their order.

With two outs in the sixth, Alex Cora drew a walk from Riske (0-2), stole second and scored on Kevin Youkilis' single. In the seventh, Boston got consecutive two-out singles from Mike Lowell, Coco Crisp, Doug Mirabelli and Cora to make it 8-5.

The RBI singles by Mirabelli and Cora, the eighth and ninth batters in Boston's lineup, came off Jon Garland, a member of the White Sox's starting rotation who was brought in to relieve.

"Anytime you get two-out runs, it's kind of a crusher to the other team," Beckett said. "You're one out away from getting out of a jam and you get some two-out hits."

Trot Nixon, who made two nice catches in right, hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to give the Red Sox a four-run cushion in the eighth. Podsednik's RBI single cut it to 9-6 in the bottom half before the Red Sox called on Papelbon.

"The kid has a great future," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said of Papelbon, who's given up only two runs all season. "What he has done for the Boston Red Sox is amazing. They needed a closer the last couple of years and they have found one."

Dye's second homer of the game and 24th of the season, a two-run shot, tied it at 3 in the fourth after the Red Sox had scored three in the top half.

Nixon's flyball fell between shortstop Alex Cintron and center fielder Rob Mackowiak for a fourth-inning single before Lowell delivered a two-run double. Mirabelli had an RBI grounder for a 3-1 lead.

Garcia went five innings, giving up eight hits and five runs.

Game notes


Ortiz's homer was his 150th with the Red Sox, good for 15th place on the team's career list. ... Podsednik stole his 200th career base. ... Manny Ramirez, who withdrew from the All-Star game Friday because of a sore knee, had two doubles, a single and a walk. ... Garland made his first relief appearance since Sept. 7, 2004.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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