BOSTON – Making his first start since he received a five-game suspension for hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch on Aug. 18, right-hander Ryan Dempster earned the win, as the Red Sox beat the White Sox, 4-3, at Fenway Park Friday night.
Dempster went 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts. He improved to 7-9 with a 4.75 ERA.
White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago took the loss, falling to 4-8 with a 3.43 ERA. He went 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and five walks with five strikeouts.
Shane Victorino led the offense, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI, and a walk.
David Ortiz, who entered the game in a six-game hitless streak, snapped an 0-for-23 slide with a two-run single in the three-run fourth.
Dempster kept the White Sox hitless until Paul Konerko led off the fifth with a double to left field. After Avisail Garcia’s single put runners on the corners, Konerko was caught trying to score on Jeff Keppinger’s grounder to third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Garcia scored on Dayan Viciedo’s single to center.
The White Sox got two runs in the seventh when Garcia led off with a home run into the Red Sox bullpen. With one out, Viciedo singled off the wall, ending Dempster's outing, with Junichi Tazawa entering. After getting Josh Phegley to ground out on the first pitch, he gave up a run-scoring triple to Alejandro De Aza.
Koji Uehara recorded the final four outs for his 15th save of the season.
AT A GLANCE
STAR OF THE GAME: Ryan Dempster
Dempster returned from his 12-day hiatus to earn the win, improving to 7-9 with a 4.75 ERA. After walking the first two batters he faced, he retired the next 11 and did not allow a run until Paul Konerko’s double leading off the fifth.
HONORABLE MENTION: Shane Victorino
Victorino went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI, and a walk. In his last 26 plate appearances over his last five games he has six singles, two doubles, four home runs, 12 RBI, three walks, a sacrifice, and was hit by a pitch. He is batting .477, going 21-for-48 with 10 extra-base hits, 14 RBI, 14 runs, four times getting hit by a pitch, and two walks in his last 12 games, including eight multi-hit games.
He has at least one RBI in each of his last five games, with 11 total. That five-game stretch matches his longest career streak with an RBI for the third time. He leads the team with 22 RBI in August, two more than his previous monthly career high, 20 in July 2008 while with the Phillies.
THE GOAT: Alexei Ramirez
Dempster walked the first two batters he faced, throwing 13 pitches, just five for strikes. Ramirez, the next batter, swung at Dempster’s first pitch, grounding into a double play, essentially ending any momentum the White Sox might have been building.
Ramirez went 0-for-4 without getting a ball out of the infield.
THE TURNING POINT
Ramirez double play in the first took away any potential White Sox momentum. After that, Dempster retired the next 11 batters and did not allow a hit until Paul Konerko’s double leading off the fifth.
BY THE NUMBERS
Red Sox pitchers have given up three or fewer runs in 10 straight games for the first time since an 11-game stretch from April 12 – 25, 1988. They have allowed just 20 runs over 88 2/3 innings in that span, for a 2.03 ERA.
QUOTE OF NOTE
“Don’t worry about me. You can worry about me when I go to the plate with no bat.” – David Ortiz, who snapped an 0-for-23 skid with a two-run single against the shift in the fourth inning.