CHICAGO (AP) — This wasn’t the way Chris Sale pictured his return to Chicago. With the way the Red Sox swung the bats, it didn’t make much of a difference.
Sale had a shaky first start back in his former home, but Deven Marrero hit two of Boston’s season-high six home runs in a 13-7 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland also went deep. The Red Sox won for the seventh time in nine games after an anticipated duel between aces never materialized.
Sale (6-2) got a warm reception from the crowd and a rude welcome from his old team. The five-time All-Star gave up six runs and 10 hits — both season highs — over five innings in his first appearance against the White Sox.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve given up six runs and still been in a pretty good mood after the game,” Sale said. “That says a lot about my guys behind me.”
Marrero drove in five runs and doubled his career home run total. After hitting two in his first 59 major league games, he went back-to-back with Betts in a four-run second inning and chased Jose Quintana (2-7) with a three-run drive in the third that made it 7-3.
Bradley bumped the lead to 10-6 in the fifth with a three-run drive off Dan Jennings after Chicago cut it to one.
Bogaerts added a solo homer in the eighth and finished with four of Boston’s 16 hits. Moreland knocked a two-run homer off Juan Minaya in the ninth to make it 13-7.
Craig Kimbrel worked the final 1 1/3 innings for his 14th save in 15 chances, and the Red Sox picked up the win after dropping two in a row.
Todd Frazier and Tim Anderson homered for Chicago, but the White Sox took the loss after winning four of five.
Dealt to Boston last winter for a package of prospects that included highly regarded slugger Yoan Moncada, Sale was looking forward to pitching against his old friends. He got a standing ovation when he trotted to the mound in the first inning.
But it was a rough night overall for the lanky left-hander. He threw 111 pitches and was consistently behind in the count, though he finished with nine strikeouts and two walks.
Manager John Farrell said the ballpark “played extremely small.” But Sale blamed his rough outing on a lack of command, not the conditions.
Quintana got pounded for seven runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since he lasted one inning against the New York Yankees on Sept. 2, 2013.
“We’re just going to have to keep grinding it out,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s not the stuff. The stuff’s the same. It’s the command and the execution. If we can get that back on track, I think Q’s going to be who he is, which is a very effective major league pitcher.”
The 2016 All-Star has allowed 15 runs, 18 hits and four homers in his past two starts. And his ERA has jumped from 3.92 to 5.60.
“We were both off,” Sale said. “I think people were expecting something a little different. But they came to a 7 o’clock batting practice session.”
Melky Cabrera briefly remained in the game after fouling a ball off his own face in the eighth inning. The White Sox outfielder went after a pitch low and away and smacked it straight into the ground. It kicked back up and caught him in the head, knocking off his batting helmet. He was visited by a trainer but continued the at-bat and reached on an infield single before being lifted for pinch runner Willy Garcia.
NOT CUT-TING IT
At least one White Sox player thought it would have been a real rip to wear throwback uniforms in honor of Sale’s return to the South Side. The fiery Sale clashed with management at times and drew a five-day suspension from the team last year for cutting up throwback uniforms he thought were uncomfortable.
“I don’t know if we gave away the cut-up ones, but maybe we can wear them and put, like, some tape around some of the shirts, so it looks like Edward Scissorhands out there,” Frazier said. “I think (Sale would) probably chuckle after that, too. Why not?”
Red Sox: The Red Sox placed 2B Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist and activated 3B Pablo Sandoval from the DL on Tuesday.
White Sox: Renteria had no specific timetable Tuesday for right-handers James Shields (right lat strain) and Nate Jones (elbow inflammation) beginning rehab assignments. Shields threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Monday and Jones threw 25 in a bullpen session.
RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-4, 4.41 ERA) looks to win his third straight start for Chicago, while LHP Drew Pomeranz (4-3, 4.70) tries to build on a dominant win. He tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts against Texas last week.
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