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Betts, J.D. power late Red Sox rally; lead 8 1/2

Boston wins third straight thanks to four-run seventh and five-run ninth
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Red Sox offense proved no match for Lucas Giolito on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field. But the White Sox bullpen was a different story.

A four-run seventh inning and five-run ninth helped Boston engineer a four-run comeback and beat the White Sox, 9-4, for its third straight win. Each big inning was capped by a big home run -- Mookie Betts' 29th and J.D. Martinez's 39th.

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CHICAGO -- The Red Sox offense proved no match for Lucas Giolito on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field. But the White Sox bullpen was a different story.

A four-run seventh inning and five-run ninth helped Boston engineer a four-run comeback and beat the White Sox, 9-4, for its third straight win. Each big inning was capped by a big home run -- Mookie Betts' 29th and J.D. Martinez's 39th.

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"We take a lot of pride in [our comebacks]," Betts said of Boston's last three wins, all of which required late offense to come from behind. "Just kind of stole one today, but you've got to shut us down for all nine innings. It's not just half of the game."

Video: BOS@CWS: Betts belts a game-tying home run to left

With the win and the Yankees' loss to the Tigers, the Red Sox opened an 8 1/2-game lead in the American League East. Martinez's clout pulled him into a tie with Oakland's Khris Davis for the MLB home run lead.

Following Giolito's departure after a one-out walk in the seventh inning, Boston immediately capitalized on reliever Jeanmar Gomez. After the first four batters Gomez faced, the 4-0 White Sox lead he inherited was lost, with Betts providing the game-tying two-run home run.

"He was throwing everything well, keeping us off-balance for sure," Betts said of Giolito, who allowed one run on two hits and struck out eight over 6 1/3 innings. "Big props to him."

"His ball was moving more than usual," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "His changeup was a lot better than what we'd seen on video, and he did a good job. But after Brock [Holt] works a walk on a 3-2 changeup, it was just quality at-bat after quality at-bat."

Ian Kinsler got things started in the seventh against Gomez after Holt's walk ended Giolito's night. Kinsler drove a single to right field, pushing Holt to third base with one out. Blake Swihart, pinch-hitting for Sandy Leon, followed with his own single, driving in Holt for Boston's first run of the game.

Video: BOS@CWS: Swihart hits an RBI single to right-center

Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Kinsler on a sacrifice fly, and then Betts delivered the biggest blow of the seventh with a towering two-run home run to left field, tying the game at 4.

The Red Sox then broke the 4-4 tie in the ninth with RBI singles from Bradley and Andrew Benintendi. Martinez followed with a three-run home run to right-center field off Chicago reliever Thyago Vieira.

Video: BOS@CWS: Martinez belts a 3-run homer to pad the lead

Rick Porcello threw five-plus innings for the Red Sox and gave up four runs, including a two-run homer to Avisail Garcia during a three-run White Sox first inning. Porcello settled in after allowing four runs in the first two innings, but he owns a 6.43 ERA over his last five starts since one-hitting the Yankees on Aug. 3.

"Obviously, you want him to go deeper into games and avoid going to the bullpen early," Cora said. "But for him to give us what he gave us, it was OK. And he'll be the first one to tell you he's not happy about the outing."

"I was in grind mode, just trying to cover as much as I could without giving up any more runs," Porcello said. "I can't honestly say I did anything different [after the second inning]. It's just how it panned out."

Video: BOS@CWS: Porcello strikes out Sanchez looking

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bradley sparks rallies: Bradley's at-bats in the seventh and ninth innings proved pivotal in Boston's comeback. His sacrifice fly in the seventh cut the White Sox lead to two runs, and his ninth-inning single gave the Red Sox a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Bradley has struggled offensively for much of the season, but he has seen his average climb steadily to .231 from a nadir of .178 on June 23.

"He's staying with his approach. He's staying through it," Cora said. "Right now, we're very pleased with the way he's going. Sometimes I feel tempted to move him up in the lineup, but I do feel that in [hitting ninth], he gets a lot of traffic. Those guys get on base [ahead of him] and he's driving in runs."

Video: BOS@CWS: Bradley Jr. smacks go-ahead hit in the 9th

Bradley is hitting .366 (22-for-60) with six doubles, a triple, two home runs and 11 RBIs over his last 17 games.

"It's frustrating knowing the work that you put in and you see yourself doing the things that you want to do, like hitting the ball hard, but not being able to get the results sometimes," Bradley said. "It can be frustrating and mentally draining, but you've got to tough through it. You've got to be mentally strong and continue to work."

SOUND SMART
The Red Sox scored at least nine runs for the 25th time this season. They are 25-0 in those games.

HE SAID IT
"We're aware of, whatever it is, the 27 games left, and I think that [getting swept] in Tampa Bay maybe woke us up a little bit, and we understand that even with whatever lead we have against New York, we still have a bunch of games with them and we play some really good teams in September. There's no time to rest, or relax or anything like that. We've got to continue to push and hopefully close out this division and get pumped for the postseason." -- Porcello, on the stretch run

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With one out in the fifth inning, White Sox speedster Tim Anderson hit a ground ball to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop. Bogaerts moved to his right and made a nice throw while falling away from first base, but Anderson was ruled safe. Boston challenged the ruling, and it was overturned.

Video: BOS@CWS: Bogaerts throws out Anderson after review

UP NEXT
The Red Sox continue their series with the White Sox on Friday night at 8:10 p.m. ET with Nathan Eovaldi set to start at Guaranteed Rate Field. Eovaldi has allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 18 hits over 9 1/3 innings in his last two starts. The right-hander has not faced the South Siders since July 6, 2016, when he threw two scoreless innings of relief. Former top Red Sox prospect Michael Kopech is set to start for the White Sox. Boston traded Kopech to Chicago in the deal for Chris Sale.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez