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David Ross Drives in Game Winner as Red Sox Rally in 9th Inning for Win Over White Sox

For the second night in a row, it was a tight thriller at U.S. Cellular Field. Except Thursday night's classic pitchers' duel was entertaining right from the first pitch as opposed to Wednesday's night's rock fight.

The Red Sox scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie to nail down the victory over the White Sox, taking two out of three games in Chicago. Koji Uehara returned for duty and closed things out in the ninth for Boston (on National High Five day).

In the ninth, Red Sox catcher David Ross hit a 1-2 pitch from reliever Ronald Belsario just inside the first base bag to the opposite field in right and Mike Napoli scored the go-ahead run. Napoli singled and advanced to second base when pinch-hitter Mike Carp drove a base hit to left before Ross did his damage.

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For the second night in a row, it was a tight thriller at U.S. Cellular Field. Except Thursday night's classic pitchers' duel was entertaining right from the first pitch as opposed to Wednesday's night's rock fight.

The Red Sox scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie to nail down the victory over the White Sox, taking two out of three games in Chicago. Koji Uehara returned for duty and closed things out in the ninth for Boston (on National High Five day).

In the ninth, Red Sox catcher David Ross hit a 1-2 pitch from reliever Ronald Belsario just inside the first base bag to the opposite field in right and Mike Napoli scored the go-ahead run. Napoli singled and advanced to second base when pinch-hitter Mike Carp drove a base hit to left before Ross did his damage.

With the bases loaded and the Red Sox holding a 2-1 lead, Jonathan Herrera laid down a perfect bunt down the first base line. The ball stayed inside the line and pinch runner Grady Sizemore scored to give the Red Sox an insurance run. It was the first bases-loaded bunt hit by a Red Sox batter since a walkoff by catcher Gary Allenson against the Angels in Aug. 1982.

“We were fortunate," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Carp gets the base hit the other way, David Ross with a double inside the bag at first base and then with Herrera, who's got such a good ability to handle the bat, lays down the perfect bunt for the insurance run and things worked out for us to chip away late..

"Once they brought in the lefthander [Scott Downs], his strength is on the left side, when they turned [Herrera] around, it felt like they're going to be playing the infield in, Downs is a sinkerball pitcher. If they're going to do that, we'll try to lay a bunt down and he did just that.”

Heading into the sixth inning, we had dueling no-hitters between lefthanders Jon Lester and Chris Sale.

Lester retired the first 16 batters he faced, six via strikeout, until the ChiSox got to him in the sixth. White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers hit a one-out ground ball single just out of the reach of shortstop Xander Bogaerts to break up Lester's no-hit bid. Infielder-turned-pitcher Leury Garcia would then crush a ground rule double to right field, holding Flowers at third, but Adam Eaton hit an infield single to push the run across tying the game, 1-1.

“He's the ace of the staff,” Ross said of Lester. “We expect good things out of him. Two strong lefties going at it tonight, their guys was really good. A battle of attrition. These guys battled, battled, battled, battled, we came up with a couple of hits, guys scrapped, we got some walks, we just... it's tough, two good pitchers going at it.”

Lester would go eight innings on the night, giving up one run, seven hits, no walks to go with nine strikeouts in picking up his second win of the season.

“A classic pitchers' duel here,” Farrell said. “He was very good. He threw pitches fore strikes, he was down in the strike zone. He established an outstanding rhythm right from the start, and as well as Sale was pitching, we needed everything that Jon gave us tonight.”

Sale, the 6-foot-6-inch lefthander with the jerky delivery, was throwing a no-hitter of his own until Bogaerts broke it up big in the top of the sixth. Sale had thrown 83 pitches through five innings and after picking up the first two outs in the sixth, Bogaerts took him deep with a 444-foot blast to left field. It was the first home run of the season for the highly-touted Red Sox shortstop and the longest homer of the year by a Boston batter.

Sale gave up just the home run to Bogaerts, to go along with a walk, 10 strikeouts, and one hit batsman over seven innings. He threw a career-high 127 pitches on the night.

“Obviously when you got a guy like Sale on the other side, when he's throwing the ball as well as he did tonight, it's good to grind out those innings and get some runs on the board late for us," Lester said.

In the top of the seventh, the Red Sox attempted to rally by way of the walk, when Napoli and Ross each took a free pass but Nava and Ryan Roberts failed to drive them in and the game remained tied.

Adam Dunn nearly scored to put the White Sox on top in the bottom of the seventh inning. He tried to run home from first on a two-out double by Alejandro De Aza but an outstanding relay from Nava to Pedroia to Ross cut Dunn down at the plate.

Play of the Game

In the bottom of the first inning tonight at U.S. Cellular Field, David Ortiz crushed a pitch from Sale that appeared to be headed into the center field stands for a home run when Adam Eaton timed his leap perfectly, going way above the fence to snag the almost-homer to end the inning.

Ortiz applauded the spectacular catch while rounding first base. Naturally Eaton stepped to the plate to lead things off for the ChiSox, and tapped one softly back to Lester who threw him out.

Extra Base Hits

Shane Victorino is lined up to play for the PawSox on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday; he could be with the Red Sox as early as Thursday... Xander Bogaerts admitted making a mistake regarding the scantily clad female photo sent out via his Twitter account and apologized... Will Middlebrooks sent home with the flu... 60 degrees to begin the game tonight, big improvement over Games 1 and 2.