CHICAGO (AP) — James Shields threw six scoreless innings, Tim Anderson and Daniel Palka homered and the Chicago White Sox beat the major league-leading Boston Red Sox 8-0 on Sunday to split their four-game series.
Anderson had three hits — including two doubles — for the White Sox, who have won seven of their last 10 games.
Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez had two hits apiece for Boston, which had won four of its last five.
The Red Sox have the majors’ best record at 94-44 and maintained a 7½ -game lead in the AL East over the New York Yankees, who lost to Detroit.
Shields (6-15) struck out six and allowed four hits and two walks. He has thrown at least six innings in 21 of his last 25 starts. Three relievers completed the five-hitter.
Five Red Sox pitchers combined to strike out 12 but gave up 15 hits.
Brian Johnson (4-4) allowed four runs and seven hits while recording four outs in his shortest start of the season. With Chris Sale and David Price out with injuries, the Red Sox have just two quality starts in their last 17 games. Their starting pitchers combined to allow 12 earned runs in 14 innings in the four-game series.
Anderson hit his 18th home run this season on the first pitch with one out in the first inning. Kevan Smith’s single added another run.
Matt Davidson’s two-run double chased Johnson in the second.
The White Sox extended their lead to 5-0 on Adam Engel’s single off Bobby Poyner in the third inning.
Palka smacked his 20th home run in the fourth off William Cuevas — four pitches after he hit a long drive just foul and completed a jog around the bases before heading back to the plate.
Anderson doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on a fielder’s choice.
Red Sox: LHPs Sale (mild inflammation in left shoulder) and Price (bruised left wrist) could return to the rotation as early as next weekend, manager Alex Cora said. For both starters, the Red Sox are looking at their next homestand, which begins Friday with three games against Houston before three games against Toronto and a three-game set against the Mets. Sale, who has been on the DL since Aug. 15, could pitch a few innings as an “opener” as he builds up his stamina, Cora said. Sale is 12-4 with an AL-leading 1.97 ERA. “It’s going to be during the homestand, but we don’t know which series,” Cora said of Sale. “We’re very positive he should be on the mound soon.” … The Red Sox hope Price (14-6, 3.60 ERA) also will be able to throw off a mound this week in Atlanta as he works his way back. A line drive struck his pitching wrist against Miami on Wednesday. “It should be Houston or the next series,” Cora said. “We’re not worried. He’s in good spirits. He should be fine.” … Cuevas exited with heat-related illness after allowing two runs and recording eight outs. The temperature at first pitch was 87 degrees.
White Sox: C Welington Castillo (right shoulder) was activated from the 10-day disabled list Sunday and is expected to start Monday against Detroit. Castillo was suspended for 80 games on May 24 after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He hasn’t played since May 23. … RF Ryan LaMarre exited after six innings with right hip soreness. … RF Avisail Garcia (right knee soreness) was out of the lineup Sunday after he left Saturday’s game after six innings. He is day to day.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-7, 4.35) is scheduled to start Monday’s opener of a three-game series at Atlanta and RHP Touki Toussaint (1-0, 1.50). Eovaldi is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in his last seven starts.
White Sox: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (5-9, 4.51) is set to start against RHP Michael Fulmer (3-10, 4.71) and Detroit in Monday’s opener of a three-game series. Lopez is 1-4 with a 6.02 ERA in his last 10 starts.