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Sheets hits grand slam as the White Sox beat the Red Sox 6-1 for 2nd straight win

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CHICAGO (AP) — Gavin Sheets hit his first career grand slam, and the Chicago White Sox won their second straight after a franchise-record 14-game losing streak, beating the Boston Red Sox 6-1 on Saturday.

Sheets capped a five-run fifth with his seventh homer of the season, a 399-foot drive to right off Brayan Bello that gave Chicago a 5-1 lead.

Paul DeJong added a solo drive in the seventh against Chase Anderson, and the White Sox earned consecutive wins for the first time since beating Washington on May 14 and 15. Chicago is a major league-worst 17-48.

“We’re a strong clubhouse, it’s been like this since spring training,” Sheets said. “There’s two ways we could have gone with this. We could have broken during that streak or pulled together. Everybody in here is going through it together. We all support each other. Just a really close group.”

Boston’s Bobby Dalbec homered leading off the fifth. But manager Alex Cora got ejected by plate umpire Alan Porter after pinch-hitter Jamie Westbrook struck out looking at a pitch in the lower part of the zone for the third out of the inning.

Cora kicked dirt on the plate before heading off the field after being thrown out for the first time this season and 14th in six years leading the Red Sox. He said he reviewed the pitch later and agreed that it was, in fact, a strike.

Chicago’s Nick Nastrini surrendered two hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked five after becoming the fifth pitcher in franchise history to lose each of his first five major league starts.

Tanner Banks (1-2) recorded five outs. He came in with runners on the corners in the fifth and immediately picked Jarren Duran off first before striking out Westbrook.

“I’ve always had that in my back pocket,” Banks said. “Not to give away any secrets, but if I see a guy that’s too far off the bag, it’s a little quicker than a leg lift and a throw, so if I can steal an out however I can, I’ll take it.”

Michael Kopech pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth, striking out Ceddanne Rafaela and Jarren Duran, as the White Sox won for the third time in 21 games.

Bello (6-3) allowed nine hits and walked three in 4 2/3 innings.

The Red Sox were 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position, and they’ve been outscored a combined 13-3 the past two games.

“Weird game,” Cora said. “We walk, we put pressure on them, the pickoff didn’t help. I was very aggressive with pinch-hitting there. I felt that it was going to be a grinder and then Banks with that pickoff, putting it at two outs. And then Westy — I looked at the pitcher later. And my bad, it was actually a strike.”

The White Sox sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth and had seven in a row reach with two out, with Sheets delivering the big blow right after Andrew Vaughn drove in a run with an infield single.

“It’s exciting,” Sheets said. “It was fun. We fed off the energy of the fans today, had a good crowd. It was a big moment, so that was fun.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: 3B Rafael Devers was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth because his ailing left knee was bothering him. Cora said he probably won’t play Sunday. “Nothing serious, but when he expressed that, we have to be smart about it,” he said. … OF Tyler O’Neill (right knee) is going to rest for a couple days before the Red Sox decide on a possible return to the injured list. Cora said the team hopes to have him back in the lineup Tuesday against Philadelphia. … DH/OF Masataka Yoshida (strained left thumb), on the IL since late April, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Saturday.

White Sox: OFs Tommy Pham (left ankle sprain) and OF Andrew Benintendi (left Achilles tendinitis) will likely get some at-bats at the team’s complex in Arizona before they are eligible to come off the injured list, manager Pedro Grifol said.

UP NEXT

The White Sox send RHP Chris Flexen (2-2, 5.12 ERA) to the mound. The Red Sox had not announced a starter.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

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