CHICAGO (AP) -- Now that Boston's hitting has finally tapered off, Red Sox manager Grady Little hopes his team's pitching gets a little recognition.
It earned plenty against Chicago.The Red Sox, averaging six runs a game, were held to one hit through nine innings by a winless pitcher and a tired Chicago bullpen before finally breaking through in the 10th on Johnny Damon's RBI single in a 4-3 win over the White Sox on Thursday.Derek Lowe, pitching in and out of trouble all afternoon, gave the Red Sox six solid innings, and reliever Brandon Lyon (3-3) pitched the final two innings to earn the win."To go through a game like that, one hit through nine innings, that's uncharacteristic of this ballclub," Little said. "To be able to hang in there and execute a little bit and get the job done there at the end was big."Our staff is coming into its own."And just in time for Boston.The Red Sox finished the game with three hits, all singles. It was just the second time all season the Red Sox failed to get an extra-base hit. The first time it happened was Wednesday."We'd probably be fooling ourselves if we thought we could continue going like we've been going," Little said. "We'll do our best to get through this and get back on track here."It took Boston 10 innings to do that against Chicago.With the score tied 3-3, Bill Mueller opened the 10th with a single off closer Billy Koch -- Boston's first hit and second baserunner since the first inning. Koch then walked Damian Jackson, and Jason Varitek's sacrifice bunt advanced the runners with one out to set up Damon's go-ahead single.Koch (2-3), who earned the save Wednesday and was given a day off Monday during a save situation to rest his arm, had little to say after exiting the game to a chorus of boos."I hung two pitches; we lost the game," he said. "See you all tomorrow."The Red Sox appeared headed for a big day at the plate after scoring three times in the first inning off a wild Dan Wright.After a walk by Todd Walker, Nomar Garciaparra hit a sharp grounder to third that popped out of Joe Crede's glove for an error. Wright then walked Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar in consecutive at-bats to force home a run, and Trot Nixon lined a two-run single to make it 3-0.Once Wright settled down, Boston couldn't do much with him. He retired 17 of the next 18 batters after Nixon's single and didn't give up another hit before being pulled."You get to a situation where you don't want to make a mistake and maybe try to be a little too fine, but after that I think I settled down," Wright said.Wright, winless on the season, went six innings. Damaso Marte and Tom Gordon combined to pitch a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth before Koch came in the 10th.Lowe, who had won his last three starts, allowed seven hits and two earned runs in six innings.Lowe got in a jam in the second when he walked leadoff batter Magglio Ordonez and gave up single to Brian Daubach with no outs. Lowe got out of it, though, when Carlos Lee grounded into a double play, scoring Ordonez, and Jose Valentin flied out."It's easy to play this game when you're going good," Lowe said. "It's not so easy when you don't have necessarily your good stuff. You've got to go out there and trick yourself or find a way to get through it."Daubach, who played four years with the Red Sox before joining Chicago, was 2-for-2 and finished the series 4-for-5 with a homer and two RBI against his old team.White Sox manager Jerry Manuel was ejected in the ninth by umpire Matt Hollowell for arguing a called strike on Crede. It was Manuel's sixth ejection this season.
The White Sox held a moment of silence before the game for Hall of Famer Larry Doby, who died Wednesday. Doby, who was the first black player in the American League, played three seasons with the White Sox and managed the club for 87 games in 1978. He was the second black manager in major league history, behind Frank Robinson. ... Chicago ended its season-longest homestand 5-5 with a loss to Boston. ... Ramirez has played in all 71 games for Boston this season, starting in 69. ... Daubach, starting at designated hitter for struggling Paul Konerko, extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the second.