BOSTON For the second time in as many games, Cody Ross punished Chicago pitchers. This time it was a walk-off three-run blast into the Monster seats to give the Red Sox a 3-1 win.It was Ross third three-run home run in the last two games, giving him 16 home runs and 50 RBI this season.Carl Crawford led off the ninth with a single off White Sox reliever Matt Thornton, but was erased on Dustin Pedroias fielders choice. Adrian Gonzalezs single put runners on first and second, and ended Thorntons outing. Closer Addison Reed entered. Ross blasted Reeds third pitch -- a 1-and-1, 95-mph fastball -- over the left field wall for the walk-off win.Thornton and Reed combined to waste an admirable effort by rookie left-hander Jose Quintana, went eight scoreless innings, giving up five hits with no walks, two strikeouts, and a wild pitch.Alfredo Aceves replaced Clay Buchholz in the ninth to earn the win, Aceves first of the season, as he improved to 1-6 with a 3.97 ERA.Buchholz went eight innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk, with six strikeouts. He lowered his ERA from 5.54 to 5.19.Chicago scored in the fourth when Adam Dunn led off with a walk off Buchholz. Paul Konerko followed with a single to right, sending Dunn to third. Alex Rios sacrifice fly to right scored Dunn, giving Chicago the 1-0 advantage.After pummeling the White Sox for 10 runs on 14 hits on Wednesday, the Red Sox were mostly handcuffed by Quintana on Thursday.The Sox could muster just one baserunner off Quintana over the first six innings, on a Pedro Ciriaco third-inning, two-out triple. But Jacoby Ellsbury struck out to end the inning, stranding Ciriaco at third.Before the ninth, the Sox best scoring chance came in the seventh. After Carl Crawford grounded out, consecutive singles by Dustin Pedroia, Alex Gonzalez, and Cody Ross loaded the bases for Will Middlebrooks. But Middlebrooks hit into a double play, ending the inning.Holding the White Sox scoreless in the first, Buchholz snapped a streak of Red Sox pitchers of allowing a run in the first inning. Sox pitchers had allowed at least one run in the first inning in the last 10 games at home since June 10, with a total of 24 runs in that span.In the ninth, Aceves gave up a two-out single to Dayan Viciedo and a ground-rule double to Gordon Beckham, but got Eduardo Escobar to ground out to end the inning.Thornton was charged with the loss, falling to 2-6 with a 3.86 ERA. Reed was charged with his third blown save.
1:00 - Shaughnesy, Drellich and Merloni give their leading off impressions regarding the Red Sox
4:00 - Dan Shaughnessy explains why he is still skeptical about the Red Sox team, and why he will not be able to feel confident until he sees them play in the postseason
9:00 - Does our Baseball Show crew have a problem with the Red Sox letting Chris Sale pitch the 8th inning so he could get his 300th strikeout?
15:00 - Jared Carrabis joins the Baseball Show crew to discuss what matches he likes for the Red Sox in the playoffs.
17:00 - Jared Carrabis on how would the Red Sox match up against the Yankees in the playoffs
20:00 - How does Jared Carrabis think about the use of David Price as a relief pitcher?
CINCINNATI -- Mookie Betts wasn't about to stop. Neither are the Red Sox, who are heading home with a chance to win another division title.
Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it in the eighth inning and dashed home from second base on an infield single, rallying the Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday that moved them closer to an AL East championship.
By winning 14 of its last 17 games, Boston has left virtually no opening for the second-place New York Yankees to catch up. The Red Sox, already assured a playoff spot, completed an 8-1 road trip that put them in excellent position to win a second consecutive division crown, something they've never done.
Coupled with New York's 9-5 loss in Toronto, the Red Sox reduced their magic number to three. They lead the Yankees by five games with seven to play.
That means Fenway Park can start preparing for a potential celebration. Boston finishes the regular season at home with three games against Toronto and four vs. Houston.
"We're learning a lot about ourselves," said Doug Fister, who pitched into the sixth. "We can put ourselves in a corner early and fight back. If we need a touchdown, the boys can put up a touchdown."
Boston inched closer with more late-game flair. The Red Sox lead the majors with 11 wins when trailing after the seventh inning.
They loaded the bases against Raisel Iglesias (3-3), who had blown only one save chance all season. Betts had fouled a ball off his foot on Friday night and missed one game. His double tied it 5-all, and he sprinted home on the still-sore foot - diving headfirst into the plate - on Rafael Devers' infield single.
"I felt he had a chance to beat it, and with me running it was going to be a tough play at the plate," Betts said.
Billy Hamilton helped the Reds go up 4-1. He tripled home a run and brought the crowd to its feet by scoring after getting caught in a rundown between first and second. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a wild throw, and Hamilton kept going when nobody covered home.
"In my whole career, that's one of the best ones, especially since I was in a rundown and just trying to get to second base and then I end up scoring," Hamilton said.
GOT THEIR BACKS
Red Sox and Reds players stood for the national anthem. Boston manager John Farrell said if any of his players decide to follow the example of other athletes and make a statement during the anthem, he'll support them. "We strive to create an environment that's inclusive," Farrell said. "We would have their back as an organization if that's the expression they chose. It's their constitutional right."
The Red Sox are 12-1 against the Reds all-time in the regular season and have won nine straight, their longest winning streak against any NL team since interleague play started in 1997. The Reds beat the Red Sox in seven games for the 1975 World Series championship. Overall, Boston is 16-4 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 5-15.
90 LOSSES AGAIN
The Reds reached the 90-loss mark for the third straight year. They lost 98 games in 2015 and 94 last year. It's the first time they've had three straight 90-loss seasons since 1930-34.
Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez ran the bases before the game, his next step in recovering from a sprained knee.
Reds: Hamilton was back in the lineup after getting a day off. He's played twice since returning from a broken left thumb.
Reds: After a day off, they finish with three games in Milwaukee and three at the Chicago Cubs. Deck McGuire (0-0) makes his first major league start Tuesday night against Zach Davies (17-9).