BOSTON -- The staggering Boston Red Sox, showing some life with all about to be lost, rallied late and pulled out a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
The defending champions, about to fall to 1-8 on their homestand, scored three runs in the eighth inning before pinch hitter Daniel Nava doubled home the tying run and scored on right fielder Brock Holt's single in the ninth.
For the second straight night, the White Sox stroked eight extra-base hits. Hoping for their first four-game winning streak of the season, they built a 4-0 lead. But it disappeared, wasting another strong outing by left-hander Chris Sale.
The rally made a winner of Boston reliever Koji Uehara (5-2), who was named to the American League All-Star team earlier in the day. He struck out the side in the top of the ninth.
Rookie outfielder Mookie Betts, whose hustle keyed the eighth-inning rally, was hit by a pitch to start the ninth-inning uprising against Javy Guerra (0-1).
First baseman Jose Abreu hit his 28th homer, third baseman Conor Gillaspie also homered and Sale left with the lead.
Sale, who is leading the fan vote for the last spot on the AL All-Star team, worked 7 2/3 innings, allowing a strange run in a three-run eighth. Betts, leading off, beat out an infield hit and turned it into a double with no one covering second base. He took third on a groundout and Sale was done after getting Holt on a comebacker.
Right-hander Jake Petricka relieved and gave up an RBI single to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who then rode home on a double by designated hitter David Ortiz. First baseman Mike Napoli walked and left fielder Jonny Gomes doubled home a run.
Sale continued an impressive run by the White Sox starters, who have a 1.04 ERA over their last six starts.
The last-place Red Sox, starting five rookies in a game for the first time, won for only the sixth time in their last 19 games.
Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket for the start, worked the first five innings. He gave up three runs on six hits and struck out three.
After collecting eight extra base-hits on Tuesday, the White Sox were right back at it Wednesday.
With two outs in the first inning, Abreu teed off to dead center for a home run. Designated hitter Adam Dunn then doubled but got no further.
In the second inning, Gillaspie led off with another homer to center. De Aza doubled, but a spectacular diving catch in right center by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. robbed catcher Tyler Flowers on an extra-base hit.
In the third, Boston left fielder Jonny Gomes made a diving catch of shortstop Alexei Ramirez's line drive before Gillaspie doubled. Right fielder Dayan Viciedo, who homered Tuesday, then hit a sharp grounder through the legs of Napoli to send Gillaspie home from second.
Viciedo was nailed trying for second on the throw home, with debuting Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez gunning him down, and that became important when Gomes, wearing sunglasses, lost De Aza's fly ball in the twilight for a triple.
- - - - - - -
NOTES: The Red Sox designated C A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and recalled C Christian Vazquez from Triple-A Pawtucket. Pierzynski hit his last home run May 24 and had one RBI in his last 53 at-bats. Vazquez, regarded as an ace defensive catcher whose hitting is coming along, was one of five rookies in the Boston lineup, the first time the Red Sox started five in the same game since 1987. ... LHP Chris Sale was still leading the fan vote for the final spot on the American League All-Star team. "I'll be honest with you, I can't believe a pitcher the quality of Chris Sale is not already in the All-Star Game. It's sad," All-Star 1B Jose Abreu said. "He has the numbers, he obviously has the quality. He's one of the best pitchers in the major leagues. It's incredible it's happening this way, that he's still having to get votes to get in. He should be a lock." ... All-Star LHP Jon Lester goes for his 10th win against Chicago LHP Jose Quintana in Thursday's series finale.