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By MATT CARLSON Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Trevor Story kept up his hot hitting with a three-run homer and four RBIs, and the Boston Red Sox beat the White Sox 16-7 Thursday night to take two of three from Chicago.
Story has seven homers and 21 RBIs in his last seven games, raising his season totals to nine homers and 32 RBIs.
“Controlling my zone has been huge and not missing my pitch when I get it — that’s been the key,” Story said. “When I get my pitch and take my swing at it, I want the-at-bat to end right there. I’ve done a better job at it lately.”
The 29-year-old remembered being this hot at the plate during a spurt when he first broke in with Colorado in 2016.
“I definitely feel like there are more runners on this time around, which is great,” he said. “Obviously you want to come up big in those situations and it’s happening at the right time, for sure.”
Alex Verdugo had pair of doubles among four hits for Boston, which outscored Chicago 33-13 in the series. The Red Sox opened with a 16-3 win and followed with a 3-1 loss.
“We hit the ball hard today, the whole night,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “We feel really good where we’re at offensively and we did a great job against a good pitching staff.”
Kevin Plawecki pinch hit for Story in the ninth and hit a two-run homer off Josh Harrison, an infielder who made his second big league pitching appearance in a game that lasted 4 hours and 2 minutes. Harrison threw a changeup past Xander Bogaerts for a called third strike in his first mop-up assignment since he got Pittsburgh’s last out in a 10-1 loss at Colorado on Aug. 9, 2013.
Andrew Vaughn had a career-high five RBIs, driving in Chicago’s first five runs with a three-run double in the third and a two-run homer in the fifth off Michael Wacha.
“He got us back in the game by himself,” Chicago manager Tony La Russa said. “Guys got on base, but that’s two big hits, five RBIs. We had chances.”
Vaughn’s homer closed it to 7-5, then the Red Sox pulled away.
“Good night or bad night, we didn’t come out on top,” Vaughn said “That’s always going to sting.”
J.D. Martinez went 3 for 5 with a walk to raise in major league-best batting average to .380 and help the Red Sox rebound after the White Sox ended their six-game winning streak. Martinez is batting .640 (16 for 25) with five walks in his last six games.
Kiké Hernandez led off the game with a homer and and Rafael Devers doubled twice as Boston raced to a 6-0 lead after two innings.
Verdugo finished with three RBIs. Christian Vazquez had three hits and two RBIs.
Wacha allowed seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. John Schreiber (2-0) the first of five relievers, got five outs for the win.
Dallas Keuchel (2-5) gave up six runs for his second straight start, lasting just two innings and allowing seven hits — five for extra bases.
Cora has never seen Martinez, a four-time All-Star, swing the bat better.
“This is the best I’ve seen him in four years,” Cora said before the game. “The quality of the at-bats, the two-strike hits, going the other way. He’s been impressive.”
Cora points to Martinez’s preparation as a key to his revival after his average plummeted to .213 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
“With J.D. on the plane, there’s no cards, no Netflix,” Cora said. “It’s just who do we play next and what I’m going to do to try and beat them.”
White Sox: Placed RHP Joe Kelly on the 15-day IL with a grade two left hamstring strain and recalled LHP Tanner Banks from Triple-A Charlotte. Banks entered in the seventh and was tagged with six runs, five earned. Kelly expects to be out three to four weeks after leaving Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over Boston in the eighth and striking out two. Kelly started the season on the IL with a right biceps nerve injury after signing with Chicago as a free agent in November. He’s 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA in seven appearances
Red Sox: RHP Garrett Whitlock (1-1, 3.58) takes the mound vs. Baltimore RHP Kyle Bradish (1-3, 5.74) on Friday night at Fenway.
White Sox: Are off on Friday, then RHP Johnny Cueto (0-0) starts on Saturday on the South Side in the first of a two-game set against the crosstown Cubs. The resurgent 36-year-old righty hasn’t allowed a run in his first two starts with Chicago, going six innings in each.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports