July 25: Chicago 7, Boston 6
The Red Sox took advantage of a walk, three singles, and a Robin Ventura error to grab an early 4-0 lead. Cy Young cruised through five shutout innings before Chicago figured him out in a big way in the sixth and seventh innings. Minnie Minoso went ya-ya and Eddie Collins tripled amid a flurry of hits in those two frames.
Boston got the tying run to third base with one out in the ninth inning, but Eddie Cicotte finished off a complete game win with two groundouts.
R H BB BOS 040 000 101 - 6 10 3 CHI 000 003 40x - 7 11 2 HR: M. Minoso (5) starters IP R ER HR BB SO C. Young 6.1 7 7 1 1 1 E. Cicotte 9.0 6 4 0 3 4 BOS 59-38, CHI 52-45
July 26: Chicago 7, Boston 5
Lefty Grove and Ed Walsh, a couple of elite pitchers, matched up well only in the sense that they both had off days. It was 5-5 when the bullpens took over. Chicago hitters got to Boston’s Derek Lowe with two walks and a Frank Thomas single.
Thomas and Magglio Ordonez crushed back-to-back homers against Grove in the fifth.
R H BB BOS 031 000 100 - 5 10 6 CHI 201 020 20x - 7 11 5 HR: F. Thomas (15), M. Ordonez (5) starters IP R ER HR BB SO L. Grove 6.0 5 5 2 3 1 E. Walsh 7.0 5 5 0 6 2 BOS 59-39, CHI 53-45
July 27: Chicago 5, Boston 4
Boston was clinging to a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning as they did all they could to salvage a game against the relentless White Sox. Jonathan Papelbon was tasked with shutting down both the eighth and ninth innings, but Joe Jackson poked a game-tying homer in the eighth. It was just the third homer Papelbon had allowed all year, but Robin Ventura handed him his fourth jack allowed in the bottom of the ninth to walk off an astounding sweep for the White Sox.
Chicago has been a juggernaut for almost a month now, winning 22 of 27. Just three weeks ago at the All-Star break, they were mired in seventh place with a 40-41 record but have sprinted up the standings to third place and just five games out of first.
Skipper Jimmy Dykes did make a couple of moves that roughly coincide with Chicago’s turnaround, most notably sending an underperforming Paul Konerko to the bench, making Harold Baines a regular, and putting Thornton Lee in the rotation in place of Red Faber. But Dykes was quick to deflect any credit back to his players:
“The coaches and me aren’t doing anything different. We knew our guys had it in them and we just had to be patient. The pitching has been there all along, and now that guys like Minnie (Minoso), Shoeless (Joe Jackson), and Big Frank (Thomas) are all looking comfortable at the plate, everything is clicking. Then you add in clutch hits like Robbie (Ventura) gave us today, and we can win some ballgames.”
Despite rapping 31 hits in the series, the Red Sox have now lost five straight for the first time all season.
R H BB BOS 000 012 010 - 4 11 0 CHI 010 002 011 - 5 8 1 HR: C. Fisk-BOS (12), N. Garciaparra (11), J. Jackson (7), R. Ventura (5) starters IP R ER HR BB SO S.J. Wood 7.0 3 3 0 1 2 T. Lee 6.0 3 3 2 0 1 BOS 59-40, CHI 54-45