Charles Rex Arbogast
May 06, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) The Red Sox got just enough big hits to pull out an ugly win and take two of three from the White Sox in a series matching first-place teams.

Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered to lead Boston to a 7-3 victory over Chicago on Thursday night.

The AL East-leading Red Sox won for the ninth time in 11 games and took this series against the first-place team in the Central.

''This is a really good ballclub in here,'' Xander Bogaerts said. ''We just battled. We had a tough game, two close games. Still, we blow it out a little bit late in the game. It's good to win the series.''

This one was hardly a thing of beauty, with the teams combining to strand 21 runners and draw 16 walks. But the Red Sox came out on top in a game that lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes.

Pedroia had three hits, starting with a solo homer in the first. Ramirez connected leading off a two-run third against Erik Johnson (0-1).

Bradley made it 5-3 with his solo drive off Matt Albers in the sixth after Chicago had pulled within one.

David Ortiz capped a two-run eighth with an RBI double that boosted the lead to four, and reliever Matt Barnes (2-1) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

''That was a tough one to navigate through,'' Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. ''You can tell by the time of the game there wasn't a lot of strike throwing early on. A lot of opportunities for both teams.''

The White Sox's Avisail Garcia chased Henry Owens with a leadoff homer in the fourth. But Chicago dropped its second straight after winning nine of 11.

Owens gave up two runs and two hits while walking six, and Johnson wasn't much better for Chicago.

Recalled from Triple-A Charlotte after the White Sox let struggling veteran John Danks go, the 26-year-old right-hander took the loss in his season debut. He went five innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. Johnson struck out six, walked three and was optioned back to the minor league club after the game.

CLOSE PLAY

The White Sox cut it to 4-3 with one out in the fifth when Hector Sanchez drew a bases-loaded walk against Heath Hembree. Mookie Betts then nailed Brett Lawrie trying to score on Austin Jackson's fly to right, ending the inning. The White Sox challenged the play, claiming catcher Ryan Hanigan blocked the plate, but the call stood.

''Obviously, I beat the throw. He blocked me,'' Lawrie said.

Red Sox manager John Farrell had a different take.

''His foot stayed in the air above the plate as he was crossing home plate,'' manager John Farrell said. ''But a great play by Ryan to receive the ball. He puts his foot out and blocks some of the plate but still (gets the runner). That was a momentum shift for us.''

HAVE A CIGAR

Ortiz got a gift before his final regular-season game at U.S. Cellular Field when White Sox ace Chris Sale presented him a case of cigars.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Ramirez started at first after missing Wednesday's game with flu-like symptoms. ... Bradley played with a sore right ring finger. ... RHP Joe Kelly (right shoulder impingement) is scheduled to throw 55 pitches Friday for Triple-A Pawtucket.

White Sox: The White Sox placed reliever Jake Petricka on the 15-day disabled list with a right-hip impingement. The move is retroactive to Monday. ... Ventura said C Alex Avila (strained right hamstring) is headed to Triple-A Charlotte for a rehab assignment. ... Garcia (right hamstring) missed the previous four games.

UP NEXT:

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (5-0, 2.76 ERA) makes his second consecutive start against the New York Yankees, after throwing seven scoreless innings against them on Saturday.

White Sox: RHP Mat Latos (4-0, 1.84) looks to remain unbeaten as the White Sox open a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

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