CHICAGO — Hoping to go deep into the game once again, Brayan Bello looked up at the scoreboard and checked out his pitch count.
Only he looked in the wrong spot, and the young right-hander thought manager Alex Cora was going to take him out when he walked over.
“Alex came to me, yeah, you’re looking at the wrong screen,” a grinning Bello said through a translator. “I’m like, OK, now I can relax a little bit more.”
Bello pitched one-run ball into the seventh inning and Rafael Devers hit a two-run homer, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the sloppy Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Boston struck out 17 times and finished with just four hits, but it made the most of costly errors on shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Tim Anderson. The Red Sox won for the seventh time in nine games, bouncing back after two straight losses at Minnesota.
“It wasn’t great for the offensive department over there, but they’ve been carrying this team for a while,” Cora said. “One swing, good pitching and get the W.”
Mixing in a new cutter, Bello (5-4) allowed six hits, struck out five and walked one in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander improved to 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in four June starts.
“I feel very confident,” he said. “I feel a confidence in my capabilities and all my pitches.”
Nick Pivetta finished the seventh and Chris Martin got three outs before Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for his 16th save.
Eloy Jiménez had three hits for Chicago, which lost for the ninth time in 12 games. Lucas Giolito (5-5) struck out a season-high 10 in six sharp innings.
“He made pitches when he had to,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “He struck out 10 against a team that doesn’t strike out, doesn’t swing and miss much. Today was one of his best performances of the year.”
Still working through some right shoulder soreness, Anderson got the start at second base. It was the All-Star shortstop’s first big league appearance at second, but he played the position for the United States in this year’s World Baseball Classic.
Anderson mishandled a pickoff attempt in the third, and speedy rookie David Hamilton scored all the way from second on the error. But Anderson responded with a sacrifice fly in the bottom half.
Andrus committed an error on Masataka Yoshida’s leadoff grounder in the fourth, and Devers followed with a 434-foot drive to right for a 3-1 lead. It was Devers’ first homer since June 13 and No. 18 on the season.
“In the past few days, I’ve been struggling,” he said through a translator. “But to be able to help the team win is great for us.”
The White Sox threatened in the eighth, putting runners on the corners with two out. But Gavin Sheets bounced to second, ending the inning.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to hit. We’ve got to step on home plate,” Grifol said.
©2023 Cox Media Group