Trayce Thompson ripped a go-ahead RBI single off Boston ace Chris Sale in the seventh inning to help the visiting Chicago White Sox squeeze out a 1-0 victory over the Red Sox to begin a three-game series Friday night.
Thompson’s hit aided a strong start from White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (2-1), who allowed three hits and walked one with seven strikeouts over six-plus innings. Chicago won for the fifth time in eight games after losing six of seven.
Sale (5-4) suffered his third straight loss despite striking out 10 and giving up six hits and a walk over eight innings. The ex-White Sox ace southpaw won his only other start against them, May 30, 2017, in Chicago, allowing six runs (five earned) but striking out nine over five.
The six-time All-Star hadn’t lost three in a row since he dropped four straight decisions from July 8-Aug. 14, 2016, with the White Sox.
Boston had won four of five and 13 of its last 18 games.
On a day when one Red Sox MVP candidate, outfielder Mookie Betts, was eligible to return from the disabled list but didn’t, the team’s other MVP candidate — slugger J.D. Martinez — sat out with a stiff back.
Manager Alex Cora said pregame that Martinez, who leads the majors in homers (20), was only expected to miss one day. Betts, who hasn’t played since May 26 due to a left abdominal strain, could return as soon as Saturday, per Cora.
Chicago center fielder Adam Engel (right hamstring) missed his second straight game.
Thompson laced his tiebreaking single over the glove of leaping Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts with one out in the seventh. Kevan Smith led off the inning with a double, and Yoan Moncada moved him over with a 4-3 groundout.
White Sox closer Joakim Soria pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save.
Chicago left-hander Carlos Rodon is expected to make his 2018 season debut Saturday opposite Boston southpaw David Price (6-4, 4.08 ERA).
—Field Level Media