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White Sox Pitching Pounded In 8-2 Loss

HOWARD ULMAN | August 30, 2008 11:38 PM EST | AP

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Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia makes a leaping catch on Chicago White Sox's Joe Crede during the seventh inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-4 for the second straight game and got plenty of help from a makeshift lineup as the Boston Red Sox pounded Chicago's pitching again in an 8-2 victory over the White Sox on Saturday night.

The spunky second baseman took over the AL lead with a .327 batting average. And he did it from the cleanup spot, the first time last year's rookie of the year batted there in the majors.

Kevin Youkilis, who usually hits fourth, was sick and missed the game. So the 5-foot-7 Pedroia moved into that slot held by slugger Manny Ramirez before he was traded on July 31.

"A lot of people talk about Manny leaving," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said before the game. "I wish Pedroia was leaving."

Pedroia went 4-for-4, scored three times, swiped two bases and walked in Boston's 8-0 win Friday night. He had a double and three singles again Saturday.

Guillen had seen enough by the time Pedroia batted in the eighth. He decided to walk him intentionally and the crowd chanted, "MVP, MVP" as Pedroia trotted to first base.

He also made a headfirst slide and avoided the tag on his double, was in the middle of two double plays and leaped to catch a liner.

Boston won for the fifth time in six games and remained 4 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Tampa Bay. The Red Sox entered with a 2 1/2-game lead in the wild-card race over Minnesota, which played later Saturday at Oakland. The White Sox started the day with a half-game lead in the AL Central over the Twins.

The Red Sox were without Mike Lowell, J.D. Drew and Sean Casey, all on the disabled list. And Coco Crisp missed his second straight game with flulike symptoms. But Mark Kotsay, obtained from Atlanta on Wednesday, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Jeff Bailey, who spent most of the season in the minors, hit his first homer of the season.

Michael Bowden (1-0) left his first major league start after five innings with Boston leading 5-2.

Mark Buehrle (11-11) gave up hits to four of Boston's first six batters _ the same number he allowed the Red Sox in seven innings in Chicago's 6-3 win on Aug. 8.

Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and took third on Pedroia's first single in the first. A ground-rule double by Kotsay drove in one run and another one by Jason Bay drove in two more.

Alexei Ramirez doubled in Jermaine Dye in the second to cut it to 3-1 but the Red Sox pushed across two runs in the bottom half on Bailey's second career homer, Ellsbury's triple and Jed Lowrie's sacrifice fly.

Joe Crede started the third with a triple that bounced off Ellsbury's glove as he leaped high against the center-field wall. He scored on A.J. Pierzynski's groundout.

Buehrle retired seven straight batters before running into trouble again with one out in the fifth.

David Ortiz beat out a grounder up the middle for a single and took third on Pedroia's double. Then Kotsay lined a double to right to make it 7-2.

Ellsbury went 3-for-5 and scored three runs for Boston, which finished with 15 hits.

Notes:@ The last Red Sox player with four or more hits in consecutive games was Wade Boggs on June 8 and 10, 1989. ... Pierzynski broke an 0-for-14 slump with a single in the fifth. ... Crede's triple was his first since Sept. 26, 2003, at Kansas City. ... Bowden is the third starter to make his major league debut with the Red Sox this season, following Justin Masterson and Charlie Zink.

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