BOSTON (AP) — Luis Robert hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster and Vince Velasquez halted a rough road stretch by pitching five solid innings to lead the Chicago White Sox past the struggling Boston Red Sox 4-2 on Friday night for their fourth straight victory.
Tim Anderson had three singles, and Reese McGuire and José Abreu each contributed a sacrifice fly for the defending AL Central champions (12-13), who moved a step closer to .500 after an eight-game losing streak last month.
“We were playing. I haven’t faulted the effort — the execution just wasn’t great sometimes,” Chicago manager Tony La Russa said of his team’s turnaround. “Now, we’re minus-one. We’ve got a lot of wins to get.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. had an RBI double for Boston (10-17), which has lost 12 of 16.
“We’ve got to pull together and start having a lot of collectively good at-bats,” Bradley said. “It’s been certain spots, certain times. … Our confidence is unwavered. It’s early and it’s definitely not time to panic or anything like that.”
After entering 0-7 with a 13.50 ERA in his last seven road starts, the 29-year-old Velasquez (2-2) held Boston’s slumbering offense to three hits and a run.
“If you stay humble within the game, things will turn around for you,” said Velasquez, speaking softly at his locker. “You’re in a great crowd, the fans are going to get erratic. I think it’s kind of slowing the tempo down a little bit and breathing through that.”
Liam Hendricks struck out three in the ninth for his eighth save.
Robert’s shot off Nathan Eovaldi (1-1) cleared the seats and left Fenway Park completely in the third inning, giving the White Sox a 3-0 lead after Abreu’s sacrifice fly.
“Give the guy credit,” La Russa said of Velasquez. “He knows…