Sports

Ross Does It Again, In Walk-Off Style

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BOSTON, MA - JULY 19:  Cody Ross #7 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates after hitting the game winning walk-off three run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox during the game on July 19, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – JULY 19: Cody Ross #7 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates after hitting the game winning walk-off three run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox during the game on July 19, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (AP) _ Cody Ross hit a three-run homer with one out in
the bottom of the ninth to give the Boston Red Sox a 3-1 win over
the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

It came one night after Ross hit three-run homers in consecutive
innings of a 10-1 win.

Boston took three of four games in the series and is 5-2 since
the All Star break.

It was the fifth loss in 13 games for AL Central-leading
Chicago, which opens three-game series at second-place Detroit on
Friday night.

Matt Thornton (2-6) got one out, but left with runners on first
and second before Addison Reed faced Ross, who hit a 1-1 pitch into
the Green Monster seats.

Carl Crawford opened the ninth with a single, but was erased on
Dustin Pedroia’s fielder’s choice grounder. Adrian Gonzalez then
singled to right before Reed came in. Just before the first pitch,
Boston sent Nick Punto in to pinch run, slowing Reed down a bit.

Alfredo Aceves (1-6) pitched one inning for the win.

Boston’s Clay Buchholz had a solid start, allowing one run, six
hits, striking out six and walking one in eight innings.

Chicago rookie left-hander Jose Quintana continued the
impressive start to his career, pitching eight shutout innings,
before Boston’s comeback win.

Quintana held Boston to five hits, striking out two and not
walking a batter in his 10th major-league start. The 23-year old
has held opponents two runs or fewer in eight starts.

Buchholz had been given the second-most run support in the
majors at 7.48 runs per nine innings _ only behind teammate Felix
Doubront’s 8.38 per _ but the Red Sox couldn’t solve the rookie
lefty.

Boston was held to one hit until loading the bases with one out
in the seventh on singles by Pedroia, Gonzalez and Ross. Shortstop
Alexei Ramirez was leaning the wrong way on Will Middlebrooks’
liner, dove back, grabbed the ball on one hop and fired to second
to start an inning-ending double play.

The White Sox grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Adam Dunn
drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on Paul Konerko’s single,
barely beating right fielder Ross’ throw. Alex Rios followed with
his sacrifice fly to center and Dunn trotted home easily.

Unlike Wednesday night when the Red Sox pounded a rookie
left-handed starter for eight runs, three homers and 12 hits in
four innings, Boston had just Pedro Ciriaco’s two-out triple in the
third.

Second baseman Pedroia returned from the 15-day disabled list
after being out with a strained right thumb and went 1 for 4.

Chicago’s Kevin Youkilis didn’t play because of a tight left
hamstring. He was 4 for 8 with a homer and three RBIs in his first
series against his former team of 7 1-2 years since being traded on
June 24.

NOTES: “Every once in a while it flares up on him,” White Sox
manager Robin Ventura said of Youkilis’ tight hamstring. “It
flared up last night and we can give him the night off to get him
ready for the weekend.” It was the first time he hasn’t played
since being acquired from the Red Sox June 24. … White Sox LHP
John Danks, out with a mild muscle strain in his shoulder since
May, played catch again Thursday and felt good, which is a lot
different than a few weeks ago. “It would hurt for a couple of
days after I did it then,” he said. … The Red Sox traded
right-hander Justin Germano to the Chicago Cubs for cash. …
Ventura agreed that this weekend’s series at Detroit is important.
“It’s a big series, but it’s not going to win or break (our
season),” he said. … Right-handed hitting Kelly Shoppach was
Boston’s catcher for the second straight night with a lefty starter
again. … TV personality Joan Rivers was in the Monster seats.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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