Tremendous pitching has sparked the Boston Red Sox's recent surge.
Another strong outing would make this their most impressive stretch in nearly a century.
Felix Doubront looks to continue doing his part as the Red Sox attempt to create more breathing room atop the AL East by sweeping a three-game series from the Chicago White Sox at home for the first time in 23 years.
Boston (81-56) leads the division by 4 1/2 games over second-place Tampa Bay, and is showing signs of further widening that gap while winning eight of its last 11 games.
The pitching staff has spurred that stretch with a 2.03 ERA, allowing three or fewer runs in all 11 games, matching a run from April 12-25, 1988.
The Red Sox last accomplished that over 12 straight games from Aug. 3-16, 1915.
Jake Peavy and two relievers got them closer to that mark Saturday, holding Chicago to five hits in a 7-2 win.
Boston now turns to Doubront (10-6, 3.74 ERA), and matching that run from 98 years ago could complete the team's first home sweep of the White Sox since July 30-Aug. 1, 1990.
The left-hander, who is only in his second full year in the majors, has won his last two starts while yielding three runs in 14 2-3 innings. He's also drawing inspiration from Peavy and the rest of the veteran-laden Red Sox rotation.
"It's great," Doubront told the team's official website. "Every time when I see those guys, the veteran guys, (John) Lackey, Jonny (Lester), (Jake) Peavy, they give me more confidence. They've been around for a long time. I'm just looking forward to doing the same and trying to give my best and stay healthy."
Doubront was solid again Tuesday, striking out seven and allowing two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 13-2 romp past Baltimore.
"It's late in the season. Those bats are getting tired," Doubront said. "I was working my fastball. I was feeling good. Throwing the ball down was the most important for me the last two outings. It really was working."
Doubront has won two of three starts against the White Sox behind a 3.00 ERA, and he can't be entirely blamed for the defeat. He allowed two runs in six innings while the offense didn't give him any support in a 3-1 loss.
Jacoby Ellsbury is sparking the Red Sox at the plate, going 10 for 22 (.455) with six runs and three stolen bases over the past five games after getting three hits and scoring twice Saturday.
The center fielder is a career .331 hitter against the White Sox (56-78).
Avisail Garcia has three of Chicago's 11 hits in this series, including a homer, and is batting .354 with 11 RBIs and 11 runs in 21 games since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. He's 10 for 21 (.476) with two homers and six RBIs over the past five contests.
The White Sox will give the ball to Andre Rienzo (1-0, 4.21) for his first appearance against the Red Sox, and the rookie right-hander is trying to rebound from his worst performance of the season.
He was tagged for seven runs and nine hits, including three homers, in six innings while not getting a decision in Monday's 10-8 loss to Houston.
Rienzo is 1-0 with a 2.88 ERA while limiting opponents to a .204 batting average in four road starts.
|Alejandro De Aza||6||.333||2||0||0||0||1||.333||.833||.500|
|Chicago White Sox|
|August 20, 2013||Jeff Keppinger||Day-to-Day||Stiff lower back|
|August 16, 2013||Ramon Troncoso||15-Day DL||Pericarditis|
|August 15, 2013||Gordon Beckham||Day-to-Day||Strained right quad|
|August 05, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||Day-to-Day||Jammed left thumb|
|July 30, 2013||Alex Rios||Day-to-Day||Left foot contusion|
|July 21, 2013||Gordon Beckham||Day-to-Day||Strained ligament, left wrist|
|Boston Red Sox|
|August 29, 2013||Mike Carp||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder irritation|
|August 17, 2013||Mike Napoli||Day-to-Day||Sore left foot|
|August 08, 2013||Brandon Snyder||15-Day DL||Ulnar neuritis, right elbow|
|August 05, 2013||Matt Thornton||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|August 05, 2013||Matt Thornton||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|July 19, 2013||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
BOSTON (AP) -- David Ortiz has racked up enough hits in his career to know how to remain positive during a rough stretch. Now, it looks like everything's fine again with Big Papi.
Ortiz continued his rebound from a miserable stretch with two hits and three RBIs, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 7-6 win over the Chicago White Sox Sunday that completed a sweep of their three-game series.
"Everybody went crazy, but I said don't worry about me," he said of his recent slump. "Worry about me when I go to the plate without a baseball bat. It's been fine. It wasn't like my timing was totally off. It was one of those situations where you walk into it. It happens to everybody. I wasn't getting a hit. It wasn't like I was swinging like I didn't know what I was doing. It was one of those funks you walk into - four, five, maybe six games."
Ortiz is 5 for 9 with six RBIs since going hitless in his previous 23 at-bats. He needs two hits to become the 39th player in major league history with 2,000 hits, 400 homers and 1,400 RBIs.
Manager John Farrell felt the slugger's cold spell turned around with key two-run single in the series opener Friday.
"Yeah, just a matter of timing. Some things he's been working on early (in the day)," he said. "You can kind of pinpoint that two-run base hit the other night that has allowed him to relax a little bit and not over swinging the bat."
Stephen Drew added a solo homer for the AL East-leading Red Sox, who won for the seventh time in eight games.
Brandon Workman (4-2) got four outs in relief for the victory after starter Felix Doubront couldn't make it out of the fourth inning. Koji Uehara , the fifth Red Sox reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save.
Tyler Flowers had a solo homer and Conor Gillaspie drove in two runs for the White Sox.
"We have some young guys that are going to have to learn while they're here," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of his team's pitching woes the past two days. "Sometimes it doesn't look pretty. You've got to be able to learn from it and keep going."
Chicago lost 7-2 on Saturday night.
Leading 5-4 in the fourth, the Red Sox scored a pair of runs against reliever Charlie Leesman - one coming on a weird play at third. With Jacoby Ellsbury on third and one out, Dustin Pedroia hit a line drive that third baseman Gillaspie made what looked like a diving grab on, but the ball dropped out of his glove as he stretched trying to double-up Ellsbury. Gillaspie then got up and fired to first, bouncing one wild as the run scored and Pedroia advanced to second.
Third base umpire Paul Nauert ruled that he dropped it before completing the catch. Ventura argued and was tossed by second base umpire Dana DeMuth. Ortiz followed with an RBI single, making it 7-4.
"Obviously, I think I caught it," Gillaspie said. "Until I know that for sure, I'm going to try to get the guy out at first running, too."
Flowers' homer cut it to 7-6 in the eighth.
Boston had opened a 5-0 lead after three innings against starter Andre Rienzo (1-1) before the White Sox rallied back with four in the fourth, chasing Doubront.
Doubront lasted just 3 2-3 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs, snapping Boston's streak of a starter allowing three runs or fewer at 11 games. It matched the longest by the team since 1988. The previous best was 12 in 1915.
In the fourth, Jeff Keppinger had a sacrifice fly, Dayan Viciedo an RBI double and Gillaspie a two-run single. The White Sox had the bases loaded, but Workman struck out Leury Garcia to end the inning.
Ortiz's two-run double capped a four-run second after Ellsbury had a two-run single. Drew's homer made it 5-0.
Rienzo gave up five runs and five hits in three innings.
NOTES: Red Sox RF Shane Victorino left the game with a bruised left hip after his at-bat in the sixth. ... Farrell loaded his lineup with left-handed and switch hitters, giving 1B Mike Napoli the day off. "Rest and keep everyone involved," he said. "A right-hander's on the mound, get left-handers off the bench, and into today's game. We've got three more righties coming the next series (against Detroit)." The Red Sox had six of their nine batters hitting from the left side against Rienzo. ... Jose Quintana (7-4, 3.66 ERA) is slated to face the New York's Phil Hughes (4-13, 4.91 ERA) Monday at Yankee Stadium. ... The Red Sox improved to a majors' best 25-12 in day games. ... There was a 19-minute rain delay before the start.