Red Sox starter Jon Lester received plenty of run support as Boston pulverized the Chicago White Sox 10-2 at US Cellular Field in Chicago on Saturday.
Lester gave up solo home runs to Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham among four hits in eight innings, while striking out eight to secure his 11th win of the season.
“I was just able to locate to both sides of the plate,” Lester said. “Like I said, Salty [Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia] did a good job with mixing offspeed — both behind and ahead in the count.”
White Sox starter Philip Humber matched Lester through four innings allowing just one hit, but was chased from the game in the fifth inning after giving up four runs on five hits.
“Not really a difference in the pitches I was making, just different results,” Humber said of the difficult fifth inning. “Honestly, I looked over the tape and I didn’t really feel like the pitches that were hit were bad pitches.”
Boston added a run to the lead in the eighth inning before the offense erupted again in the ninth against reliever Brian Bruney.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run home run and Kevin Youkilis followed with a solo home run to push the lead to 8-0.
Carl Crawford and Saltalamacchia also scored in the inning to complete the onslaught.
“We didn’t do a whole lot early,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We still worked the pitch count and when we had our opportunity, we kind of kept the line moving and didn’t settle for one or two and just kept going.”
MARINERS 3, RAYS 2
In Seattle, rookie Michael Pineda had a career-high 10 strikeouts, Dustin Ackley homered, doubled and scored twice, and Seattle won for just the second time in 20 games.
Pineda (9-7) pitched 6-1/3 innings of one-hit ball and Jeff Gray and Brandon League combined to finish the one-hitter. League earned his 24th save.
Mike Carp hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning, helping Seattle win at home for the first time since July 3 — although the Mariners spent most of the month on the road.
Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb (3-1) struck out a career-high nine in 6-1/3 innings, but was handed his first major league loss.
RANGERS 3, BLUE JAYS 0
In Toronto, Derek Holland pitched a four-hitter to win his fourth straight decision, leading Texas to victory.
Holland (10-4) reached double digits in victories for the first time and improved to 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA since losing to Florida on July 2. The left-hander, who walked one and struck out five, leads the AL with four shutouts this season and is tied with Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee for the major league lead.
Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli homered for the Rangers.
Brad Mills (0-1) matched a career high by lasting seven innings in his first start of the season for Toronto. He allowed two runs and six hits.
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Yankees 8, Orioles 3, Game 1
‧ Yankees 17, Orioles 3, Game 2
‧ Angels 5, Tigers 1
‧ Indians 5, Royals 2
‧ Athletics 8, Twins 3
Ryan Howard had four hits, including a homer and two doubles, and three RBIs to lead Philadelphia to a 7-4 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Hunter Pence had an RBI single in his debut for the Phillies after he was acquired from the Houston Astros on Friday night.
Cliff Lee (10-7) struck out 11 to reach double digits for the 16th time in his 10-year career, including seven this season. He allowed four runs and eight hits in 7-2/3 innings.