"Just everyone contributing and having a good feeling," manager Bobby Valentine said Saturday night after Jon Lester outdueled Jake Peavy in a 1-0 Boston win. "Beginning of the game, guys have a good feeling. When you have a good feeling, you have a good chance to win. And I think we played like that most of the season. You know, we had a couple of hiccups."
Boston's Josh Beckett (2-2, 4.56 ERA) and Chicago's Gavin Floyd (1-3, 3.60) square off Sunday in a matchup of right-handers. Beckett helped the Red Sox to their second win of six on this run, in Minnesota on Tuesday. He got into it with home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson in the first inning -- when Beckett let in the first of two runs he allowed on the night on three straight walks -- then cruised through six innings.
The White Sox (10-11) are just 3-7 at home, and they can return to .500 with a win. Their losing streak is at five games, the second longest in the Majors. No team has a longer current win streak than Boston (10-10).
"There could be a bunch of different reasons for that," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the home troubles. "I don't think anybody here just automatically thinks we can't win at home, we're only going to win on the road. You just play. Some teams are just better that way."
Floyd twirled a gem in his last start Tuesday, with 7 1/3 innings of two-hit, one-run ball against the A's. It wasn't enough for a win, though, with Tommy Milone shining in the 2-0 A's win.
"I'm just trying to continue what I've been doing, what I've been working on," said Floyd, who threw 71 of his 119 pitches for strikes. "Just focus in on each pitch. I was trying to keep the team in the game, and I felt like I did that until I walked the last guy."
Before the bats went cold all-around Saturday, a product of strong pitching, Boston's had been steaming. The Red Sox entered Saturday with a Major League best 114 runs. Through Saturday, Ryan Sweeney is hitting .417 during a nine-game hit streak, and David Ortiz is hitting .403. Ortiz's 0-for-4 on Saturday marked just the second game this season he did not reach safely.
Red Sox: Cook considered relief option
Veteran right-hander Aaron Cook allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings of a no-decision for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. He has an opt-out clause in his contract that he can exercise by May 1. Once the Red Sox hear what his decision is, they have 48 hours to decide whether to activate him. Cook has another opt-out clause on June 1.
Cook's long been a starter but the possibility of him pitching out of the bullpen exists.
"There have been discussions, yep," manager Bobby Valentine said. "[Pitching coach] Bob McClure thinks that after talking with him, that it's feasible. Initially there was no [thought of it]. I think I told you guys initially in Spring Training that [relief] was a non-factor. It was a non-consideration. Reports are that he's never felt better about his shoulder, or he hasn't felt this good about his shoulder in a long time."
Lefty Franklin Morales has not allowed a run in his last 22 road appearances.
White Sox: Ventura wading through bullpen decisions
Hector Santiago's early struggles and Jesse Crain's trip to the disabled list (strained left oblique) on Friday haven't left Ventura feeling like his relief corps has gone awry.
"You get into a situation where as soon as you get comfortable with something," Ventura said, "you have a Crain on the DL. So it changes kind of the complexity of your bullpen. That's stuff you have to deal with.
The White Sox are 1-5 against the Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field dating to last season.