BOSTON - If this is the new reality -- playing younger guys and relying on energy as they learn their way -- then maybe the second half of the season might be interesting after all.
Shutout over the first seven innings, the Red Sox erupted for three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to steal a win away from the Chicago White Sox, 5-4.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak and gave the Red Sox just their second win on the current homestand.
Brock Holt singled home pinch-hitter Daniel Nava from second base with one out in the ninth inning for the winning margin. Nava had tied the game with a double off The Wall, scoring Mookie Betts.
The Sox appeared to be headed for not just a loss, but a shutout as well against Chris Sale into the eighth. But an extra measure of hustle by Betts -- who turned an infield chopper to short into a hustle double -- a run-scoring single from Dustin Pedroia, a Wall-scraping double from David Ortiz and a line double to left by Jonny Gomes produced three run before pinch-hitter Mike Carp grounded out, stranding two in scoring position.
Rubby De La Rosa, returning from a two-week exile in Pawtucket, yielded solo homers to Jose Abreu in the first and Conor Gillaspie in the second.
Chicago added to its lead in the fourth on a double by Gillaspie and triple by Alejando De Aza.
De La Rosa was lifted after five. The White Sox actually another run off reliever Edward Mujica in the seventh. Jonny Gomes lost a ball in the left field corner for a gift double for Tyler Flowers, who then scored on a double by Adam Eaton.
STAR OF THE GAME: Mookie Betts
This was a coming-out part for the Red Sox rookie, who seemingly willed his team to a win in the last two innings. Betts had two doubles, two runs scored and reached base three times.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brock Holt
Holt had only one hit in five plate appearances, but it was huge -- a single in the bottom of the ninth to score Daniel Nava with the winning run and provide the seventh walkoff win of the year for the Sox.
GOAT OF THE GAME: White Sox bullpen
For 7 2/3 innings, starter Chris Sale limited the Red Sox to four hits. He left entrusting a 4-0 lead to the bullpen, but Jake Petricka and Java Guerra combined to allow four runs on five hits in just two-thirds of an inning and turn a win into a loss.
TURNING POINT: Betts energized the ballpark and got the comeback started when he led off the eighth with that rarest of achievements -- an infield double. From there, the comeback fuse was lit.
BY THE NUMBERS: The last time the Red Sox started five rookies in a game this early in the season was 1962.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "When you get into some roster changes, there's an unspoken message that is sent...that the way we've been going isn't acceptable." - John Farrell on the fallout from A.J. Pierzynski being designated for assignment.