The Chicago White Sox had to make the decision.
He led the Boston Red Sox by one run in the ninth inning on Sunday. Closer Liam Hendrix and fellow relievers Kendall Graveman and Aaron Bummer were unavailable.
The White Sox called on Jose Ruiz and rookie Bennett Sousa, and both got big outs to win 3–2 in front of 28,602 at Fenway Park.
“Luckily in college (in Virginia) I was close to my junior and senior year, so I had little experience doing it,” Sousa said. “Even through the minor leagues I had some savings. So I am used to being at that end of the bullpen and understanding that the hardest three outs are the last three outs.
“But the key is not to let the pressure get too big, even if it’s Fenway Park, first time and this tying run at second base. Just act on the pitches and stay within yourself and hopefully good things will happen.”
Dallas Keuchel came through six strong innings and relievers Ryan Burr, Matt Foster, Ruiz and Sousa as the White Sox completed a three-game sweep to extend their winning streak to six.
It was Sousa’s first major league save.
“He’s earned that,” said manager Tony La Russa. “You have faith in him, keep pitching him. We can’t win without depth.”
Hendrix earned a save in the first five games of the winning streak, including Friday and Saturday victories at Fenway Park. The White Sox rested him on Sunday.
Graveman is healthy, La Russa said, noting that the right arm warmed up on Saturday and the White Sox stopped on Sunday when it went in its direction.
La Russa said Boomer felt a “tug” in the back of his right knee during his last appearance on Friday and joined the injured list, a move that followed Joe Kelly’s rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. with the arrival of.
Burr, Foster, Ruiz and Sousa combined for five strikeouts and one hit in three innings.
“Those guys have been doing it from day one, actually,” La Russa said. “Sousa did a really good job, Foster saved us and Ruiz. Burr, the first guy who had to do it in seventh, is big.
“Nothing bigger than Dallas pitched six innings, two runs. He is the biggest. I saw good gait and good command.”
Keuchel (2-3) conceded five strikeouts on eight hits and two runs in six innings with one walk, his longest outing of the season.
“It’s a good step,” he said. “The winds were a bit tricky at first, just trying to circle the strike zone and what it was going to do on the playing mound. The bullpen mound had a different cross path with the wind than the playing mound.
“Lucky to get some early contact and really cool the first innings with over 20 pitches. Definitely a step in the right direction.”
The White Sox scored three runs in the third to give them the lead. Leuri Garcia drove one with an infield single and Jose Abreu drove two with a double. Abru had four hits and four RBIs in the series.
“He’s making that kind of contact (this season),” La Russa said. “He’s been hitting the ball harder for a longer period of time than the production shows.”
The Red Sox scored twice in the sixth to make it 3-2. Burr pitched in the perfect seventh and Foster dismissed 2-3-4 hitters in the eighth.
JD Martinez made a ninth-place start against Ruiz. Christian Vazquez dropped to second place and Ruiz knocked out Alex Verdugo.
The chess match went to another level. Due to the left-handed hitting Jackie Bradley Jr., the White Sox called the left-hander Sousa.
“I would love to have a left-hander against Bradley,” La Russa said. “He has had some big hits against our right-handers in the series.”
The Red Sox countered by bringing right-hander Kevin Plavecki off the bench to face Sousa.
“I saw the left wing there at the bottom of the order,” Sousa said, “and I thought it would be a place for me to work and work. (Ruiz) got the first two outs, which was great. And I just had to do one.”
Sousa asked Plavecki to go to center fielder Luis Robert for the final out. With the win, the White Sox (14-13) are over .500 for the first time since April 20, when they were 6-5.
“As soon as it was in the wind, I knew it would be out because the wind was crazy today,” Sousa said. “It was really exciting. I gave (the catcher) Reese (McGuire) a big hug.
“Was awesome. One out. Get out there, get the job done and finish with a sweep.”