CHICAGO (AP) — Eduardo Rodriguez struck out 12 in 5 2/3 innings in his return from an ankle injury, leading the Boston Red Sox over the Chicago White Sox 6-1 on Saturday night.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Ian Kinsler and Eduardo Nunez homered as AL East-leading Boston maintained its 7½-game lead over the New York Yankees, who held off Detroit for a 2-1 win. The Red Sox won for the fourth time in five games to run the majors’ best record to 94-43, already one more victory than they had when they won the division each of the past two years.
Rodriguez (12-3) allowed one run and three hits in his first major league appearance since he sprained his right ankle while covering first against Toronto on July 14. The left-hander retired his first 12 batters, striking out 10.
Carlos Rodon (6-4) kept the White Sox in the game for a while before committing a costly error in the seventh. With one out and runners on second and third, the lefty fielded Andrew Benintendi’s comebacker and threw wildly to first, allowing Christian Vazquez to come home.
Steve Pearce and J.D. Martinez then hit run-scoring singles as Boston opened a 5-1 lead. Kinsler added a solo drive on a 3-0 pitch from Ryan Burr in the eighth.
Rodon was charged with five runs, four earned, and six hits in 6 1/3 innings in his first loss since June 30. He was 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his previous nine starts.
The 25-year-old Rodon was sailing along before Nunez and Bradley connected in the fifth, powering the Red Sox to a 2-0 lead. Nunez’s 10th homer was originally ruled a double, but the call was overturned when a replay review showed his leadoff drive caromed off a railing above the wall in left.
Rodriguez extended his scoreless streak to 24 innings before Nicky Delmonico hit an RBI double in the sixth. Manager Alex Cora then brought in Ryan Brasier, who struck out Avisail Garcia to end the inning.