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updated: 4/15/2014 11:38 PM

White Sox continue to find ways to win

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  • Alexei Ramirez celebrates after scoring the winning run from second base on a throwing error by Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the ninth inning.

      Alexei Ramirez celebrates after scoring the winning run from second base on a throwing error by Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the ninth inning.
    Associated Press

 
 

Call Tuesday night a win-win for the White Sox.

Playing at frosty U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox muddled through another marathon game and beat the Red Sox 2-1. For the second straight game the White Sox pulled it out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

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With Alexei Ramirez on second base and Adam Eaton on first with two outs, Marcus Semien grounded to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and it looked like the game was headed for extra innings.

But Bogaerts bounced the throw to first baseman Mike Carp for an error and Ramirez crossed the plate with the deciding run.

Carp entered the game for Boston after regular first baseman Mike Napoli injured a finger on his left hand sliding into second base in the top of the ninth.

"You don't get judged on how pretty it looks," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's a win."

Just as important as the win, which lifted the White Sox (8-6) into a tie for first place with the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, starting pitcher Erik Johnson delivered his most impressive major-league outing since joining the White Sox last September from the minor leagues.

Matched up against former White Sox starter Jake Peavy, Johnson worked 6⅔ innings and limited Boston to 1 run on 3 hits. He also established a career high with 9 strikeouts.

The White Sox have been a nice story over the first two weeks of the season, mainly on the offensive side.

While they were leading the majors with 6.15 runs per game and leading the American League in batting average (.284) and OPS (.816), the Sox' pitching staff was at the bottom of the league.

In the rotation, right-handers Johnson and Felipe Paulino stumbled badly out of the gate and prompted many White Sox fans to call for immediate changes.

Ditto for the bullpen, which had the highest ERA (6.93) in the league.

Paulino (0-1, 7.98) remains on the fence after 3 subpar starts, but Johnson bought himself some extended time with a solid effort.

"It started off with Erik," Ventura said. "That's as good as he's pitched this year. Everything looked sharp. His fastball was hitting the corners, and he was keeping it down. And he threw the curveball when he needed it."

The bullpen also got it turned around as Scott Downs, Jake Petricka, Donnie Veal and Daniel Webb combined for 2⅓ innings of scoreless relief. Webb (1-0) recorded the final out in the ninth inning and earned his first major-league win.

"It's not easy being in the bullpen," Ventura said. "If you don't get the job down one time, everybody throws their arms up. Hopefully tonight that's a step in the right direction and they can run it out for a while."

Johnson more than held his own against Peavy, who allowed 1 run -- Adam Dunn's homer -- on 3 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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