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White Sox 7, Red Sox 4

Sweep deprivation

After another loss, Sox welcome a day of rest

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / June 2, 2011

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The Red Sox played a day/night doubleheader in Detroit Sunday, then flew home and crawled into their beds as dawn was breaking Monday.

They were a team badly in need of a day off, having played 16 games over 17 days in four cities.

But the schedule called for three games against the Chicago White Sox. Given the results, a case can be made that the Red Sox eased into their break a little too early.

Paul Konerko homered and drove in three runs yesterday as the White Sox finished a three-game sweep of the sleepy Red Sox with a 7-4 victory at Fenway Park.

That’s four losses in a row for the Red Sox, who took a 3-0 lead and seemed to be wishing for the game to get over in a hurry. Instead, they go into today’s day off two games out of first place.

The Sox had not lost four straight since starting the season with six straight losses.

The busy schedule didn’t help, according to yesterday’s starter, Tim Wakefield.

“I’m not going to make excuses for how we played the last three games, but that could have factored into it,’’ said Wakefield, who allowed four runs in six innings.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia was more blunt.

“Detroit kind of killed us,’’ he said. “Everyone is just tired.’’

Everyone was kind of cranky, too, after what the Red Sox insisted was a blown call by umpire Marty Foster in the fifth inning.

The White Sox, down, 3-1, had runners on first and third and one out when the Red Sox called for a pitchout. Juan Pierre, who had intended to steal second, was caught in a rundown. Dustin Pedroia slapped his glove on Pierre’s back, smack on the No. 1.

But Foster called Pierre safe. Pedroia vehemently protested before manager Terry Francona interceded.

“Go ask the umpire, man,’’ said Pedroia. “I’m not going to talk for him. Those guys got to be held responsible for that because I tagged Juan right in the back.

“If he doesn’t want to ask for help, that’s unfortunate. I asked him to ask [the other umpires] and he said, ‘That’s enough, I’m going to throw you out of the game.’ ’’

Francona received no satisfaction, either.

“I thought that was a poor call,’’ said the manager. “I thought it was a poor explanation. In my opinion, the way I understand, on an angle call like that, you’re allowed to get help and he didn’t want to get help. I’m not sure I understood that. That’s a tough play for us.’’

There are no predetermined outcomes in baseball. But as far as the Red Sox were concerned, Alexei Ramirez’s grounder to shortstop should have been the third out in the fifth inning. Instead it drove in a run. Then Carlos Quentin slammed an RBI double to left.

“It’s huge,’’ said Wakefield. “It cost us two runs. It pretty much cost us the game.’’

The White Sox took the lead when Brett Lillibridge hammered a knuckleball over the wall in the sixth. Konerko had an RBI single off Matt Albers in the seventh and a two-run blast to left off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth.

The seventh inning also included the sobering sight of lefthanded reliever Rich Hill clutching his arm after throwing a pitch and walking off the mound in pain. An initial exam suggested that Hill avoided a serious injury, but he was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for further tests.

Chicago starter Gavin Floyd (6-5) allowed three runs in the second inning but went 6 2/3 innings for the win. He is 5-0 in seven career appearances against the Red Sox, 3-0 at Fenway.

The Red Sox had seven hits in the first two innings and built a 3-0 lead. Jed Lowrie had an RBI double and Saltalamacchia a two-run single. But the Sox had only two more hits, one a solo home run by David Ortiz in the sixth inning that briefly made it 4-4.

“We just never after that were able to break through,’’ Francona said. “He started using his fastball in more aggressively. I thought we had a pretty good approach against him. Didn’t have a lot to show for it.’’

The Red Sox have lost six straight against the White Sox going back to last season and 13 of 15 going back to 2009.

The White Sox were in disarray when they arrived in Boston, having dropped three straight and five of seven. Playing the Red Sox was the perfect medicine.

“We were down, 3-0, and we came back little by little,’’ said Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen. “To win this thing against these people here, you have to put everything together.

“We came here and we played better. I wish I knew why.’’

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com.

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