BOSTON – One run off Chris Sale was enough for Dylan Covey and the White Sox – even in Fenway Park.
Covey pitched six scoreless innings and the bullpen finished up a three-hitter, lifting the White Sox over the Boston Red Sox, 1-0, on Friday night.
Kevan Smith had two hits and scored the only run after leading off the seventh with a ground-rule double, scoring on Trayce Thompson's one-out single to left off former White Sox ace Chris Sale.
"Give credit to both chuckers today. Dylan did a great job, did a great job. So did Sale," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Dylan ended up holding his own."
Covey (2-1) more than kept pace with Sale (5-4), who lost his third straight start despite striking out 10 in eight innings.
"It was fun to go up against him, you know one of the best. I felt good, kept the team in the ballgame," Covey said. "We were able to put a run across the board and our bullpen handled it from there."
After Andrew Benintendi's leadoff double in the first, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts were the only other Boston players to get a hit Friday. The Red Sox stranded four runners on base and were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
It was Boston's first 1-0 loss at Fenway Park since Sept. 14, 2016 against Baltimore.
"This kind of stuff happens. This isn't who we are and this doesn't define us in any way," Sale said.
The White Sox ended a six-game skid against the Red Sox. Jace Fry and Nate Jones each pitched a scoreless inning, and Joakim Soria earned his seventh save. The White Sox have won three of four.
Sale allowed six hits and one walk. He also carried a shutout into the seventh, when Smith led off with a blooper down the right field line that landed fair, then bounced into the stands. He has three straight decisions for the first time dropping four in a row in July 2016 while still with the White Sox.
"He was on tonight. With a guy like him, you've just got to bear down," said Thompson, who spoke with one eye on the television as his brother, Klay, and the Golden State Warriors defeated Cleveland to win the NBA championship. "He was really good tonight. Dylan was just as good, so we were able to scratch away one and come away with a win."
Covey allowed three hits and struck out seven, one below his season high, in his first start against the Red Sox. He pitched into the seventh before Bogaerts hit a leadoff single and Fry came on in relief for Chicago.
Fry got Mitch Moreland to ground into a fielder's choice that was initially ruled a double play. The replay showed Moreland just beating the throw to first, and the call was overturned after a quick review. Eduardo Nunez reached on an error by Jose Rondon at third, but Fry kept the shutout intact by retiring Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr.
Sale, who had a couple extra days of rest, scoffed when asked about a lack of run support, noting his three-game losing streak started long before Friday. Sale allowed six earned runs May 27 in a loss to Atlanta and four runs on June 1 in a loss at Houston.
"I'm not going to sit here and point fingers at anybody. Would I like to win this game? Absolutely – so would everybody else in here," Sale said. "It would be kind of selfish for me to say something like that, especially looking at my last two leading up to this one."
Boston right-fielder Mookie Betts was eligible to come off the disabled list, where he's been with a left abdominal strain, but did not Friday.
Manager Alex Cora said Betts would take some swings Saturday and see how he's feeling, then the club will decide when it's time to activate him. The Red Sox were missing Betts, who is hitting .359 with 17 home runs and 37 RBIs, as well as designated hitter J.D. Martinez (.314, 20 home runs, 52 RBIs) while getting shut out for the second time this season.
White Sox: OF Adam Engel (hamstring) was out of lineup for the second straight day. ... RF Avisail Garcia (hamstring) will begin a rehab assignment next week with Triple-A Charlotte.
Red Sox: Martinez was out of the lineup after getting pulled after the seventh inning Thursday because of back tightness. Cora said Martinez was getting a night off after a busy stretch in the schedule. ... Optioned LHP Jalen Beeks, who made his major-league debut Thursday in a loss to Detroit, to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled RHP Justin Haley.
White Sox: Chicago hasn't announced a starter for Saturday, although it's possible LHP Carlos Rodon will be making his first start of the season. Rodon had shoulder surgery last September.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (6-4) has allowed three ER or fewer while going 4-0 in his last five starts.