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Red Sox 7, White Sox 4

Marwin Gonzalez homer sparks four-run burst in the eighth inning as Red Sox beat White Sox

Red Sox third baseman Marwin Gonzalez gets a push through the dugout in a laundry cart by catcher Kevin Plawecki after Gonzalez hit a homer to put the Red Sox ahead, 4-3, in the eighth inning.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Marwin Gonzalez is a baseball player. Despite playing multiple positions on any given day, manager Alex Cora is certain his veteran utilityman will make the smart baseball play. In a sense, Gonzalez’s play and the ultimate success of his team is largely based on what the game calls for.

In the eighth inning Saturday, the Red Sox just needed one run. A run that would enable the club to hand the ball to their dominant closer, Matt Barnes, to shut the door on a Chicago White Sox team that had given the Red Sox its best punch.

Yet when the switch-hitting Gonzalez stepped to the plate to lead off that bottom frame against White Sox reliever, Codi Heuer, he was 0 for 2 with two strikeouts. But that didn’t matter at that point. Gonzalez knew what that one run represented.


So, on the third pitch of the at-bat, Gonzalez who was without an extra-base hit in his first 12 games this year, drilled a high sinker beyond the wall in right-center. The go-ahead homer paved the way for a four-run Sox inning and an eventual 7-4 win.

“He knows the strike zone,” Cora said afterward. “He knows when to get to a fastball. He’s into the game the whole time in the dugout talking to guys. You know, for the short time that he’s been here. It’s been amazing.”

Gonzalez wanted to just make contact, but once he connected another thought immediately came across his mind: He needed a homer out of it. In fact, he was so fixated on the ball reaching the seats that he forgot to drop the bat, and instead kept it in his hand until he saw the ball clear.

“I probably shouldn’t have done that, but I was kind of like ‘Please go. Please go.’ We have seen a lot, a lot of balls that should be out of the ballpark and then they stay short. They’re being caught. So I was almost blowing the ball to get out of the ballpark.”


The Red Sox are now 10-1 in their last 11 games after beginning the season 0-3. The team speaks about its togetherness, which was on display in this game.

Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta lasted just 3⅔ innings Saturday. He can lose command, which is the reason he’s walked 5.7 batters per nine innings in his previous two starts. During his Saturday start, Pivetta was true to form, submitting four walks while tossing 83 pitches.

In the top of the first inning Pivetta struck out White Sox leadoff hitter Tim Anderson, but immediately walked the next two batters, Adam Eaton and Yoán Moncada. It came back to haunt the Red Sox and Pivetta when White Sox four-hole hitter, José Abreu, stung a double past a diving Rafael Devers. The ball trickled into the corner in left field, allowing Moncada to score all the way from first and give Chicago an early 2-0 lead.

Nick Pivetta allowed eight baserunners on Saturday, failing to get out of the fourth inning.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The Red Sox battled back to tie it in the third behind two sacrifice flies by Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers to tie it against White Sox starter Dylan Cease.

Cease, too, saw his outing cut short after 4⅔. White Sox manager Tony La Russa called on reliever Evan Marshall to finish off the fifth. It appeared Marshall would get through the entire sixth unscathed, yet with two outs in the frame, Kevin Plawecki laced a double to the center field wall, and Kiké Hernández, who was 4 for 5 with a double, singled up the middle to give the Sox their first lead of the game.


The Red Sox got three huge innings from Matt Andriese, who took over for Taylor in the fifth. Andriese breezed through the White Sox lineup for much of his three innings. The one run that tied it came in the seventh on an error by Xander Bogaerts, who couldn’t come up with Plawecki’s throw down to second on an Anderson steal play. It allowed Anderson to advance to third and ultimately score the tying run.

But the following inning swung back in the Red Sox’ favor, as it has during most of this run, sparked by Gonzalez’s solo shot. Cora couldn’t help but notice what was taking place around him.

“That was a great atmosphere,” Cora said. “I don’t know how many people we have here today. But it was very loud into every pitch. And that’s what it’s all about in this city. And I’m glad that people are buying into the team.”

Catcher Kevin Plawecki (25) celebrates after sliding safely into home on Kiké Hernández's RBI double in the sixth inning.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @byJulianMack.