Yoan Moncada and Matt Davidson homered, prized prospect Michael Kopech combined with three relievers on a five-hitter, and the Chicago White Sox waited out a long rain delay to beat Boston 6-1 on Friday.
The major league-leading Red Sox had won three in a row and trailed in each of them, including a 9-4 victory in the opener of the four-game set. They couldn’t pull this one out. And their lead in the AL Central is now 7 1/2 games over the New York Yankees, who rallied for a 7-5 win over Detroit.
Moncada made it 3-0 with a two-run drive against Nathan Eovaldi (5-7) in the first inning. Davidson added a three-run shot off Tyler Thornburg in the seventh as the White Sox won for the sixth time in eight games.
Eovaldi gave up three runs and three hits over two innings in losing his third straight start.
“We need this guy to be good, and we know he can be good,” manager Alex Cora said. “His stuff is that good. But we’ve got to fix it. We’ve got to find something so he can be better.”
In his first outing against the team that drafted him in the first round in 2014, the hard-throwing Kopech gave up one hit in three innings. He also hit two batters before a downpour with Chicago batting in the third cut his third major league start short.
The game was delayed for 2 hours, 9 minutes.
Dylan Covey (5-12) then tossed three-hit ball over three-plus innings. Juan Minaya gave up a run in two innings and Ian Hamilton worked the ninth.
“I think we’re all pulling in the same direction right now, and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of right now,” Kopech said. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve been a winning team, and hopefully it stays that way for a long time.”
Boston’s Andrew Benintendi homered in the eighth. Xander Bogaerts picked up his first career ejection after he got called out on strikes two batters later, and pitcher Rick Porcello got tossed arguing from the dugout in the bottom half even though he did not appear in the game.
Kopech has been limited to 11 innings over three starts because of bad weather. He threw just two innings in his debut against Minnesota before going six strong innings in a win over Detroit on Sunday.
The way this one started, it looked as if Kopech might not get out of the first.
Acquired in the deal that sent ace Chris Sale to Boston in December 2016, he hit Mookie Betts with the game’s first offering and walked Benintendi on four pitches. But Kopech worked his way out of the jam.
He caught Betts off second as he broke to steal third, and then retired J.D. Martinez and Bogaerts.
In the bottom half, Eovaldi hit Yolmer Sanchez leading off and gave up an RBI double to Avisail Garcia on an 0-2 count with one out. Garcia then made a neat slide tagging up on Daniel Palka’s fly to center before Moncada went the other way and drove a 1-2 fastball to the left-field bullpen.
Red Sox: Cora said LHP David Price (bruised left wrist) “most likely” won’t make his scheduled start next week at Atlanta. He still is sore and hasn’t thrown since he was struck on his pitching wrist by a line drive against Miami on Wednesday. … Sale (mild inflammation in pitching shoulder) threw long toss and on flat ground after playing catch the previous four days. Though the Red Sox haven’t set a return date, Cora thinks Sale will make a few starts before the playoffs. … The Red Sox plan to activate C Christian Vazquez (broken finger) prior to Saturday’s game. He has not played since July 7.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (11-3, 3.44 ERA) makes his first start since July 14, after being sidelined by a sprained right ankle.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (6-3, 2.70 ERA) is 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA over his past nine starts.