BOSTON — Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura had a simple request for a struggling Scott Carroll before the rookie right-hander took the mound at Fenway Park on Monday night.
“Just be better.”
And that’s exactly what Carroll was — better — as he allowed just one hit over 6 2/3 innings in leading his team to a 4-0 victory over the last-place Boston Red Sox.
“He was fantastic,” Ventura said after the White Sox got their fourth win in their last five games and their seventh win in the last 10 games.
The 29-year-old Carroll came in with a 5.05 overall ERA, but his last two starts were even worse than that — 12 runs on 19 hits in 11 innings in two losses. That all changed on Monday, in his eighth major league start.
“This one felt really good,” said Carroll (3-5). “There were some things that I worked on in between the last start to this start. I definitely executed that and this one felt good. I was aggressive in the strike zone.”
For Carroll to have success, he has to be down in the strike zone. He got 13 of his 20 outs on the ground, and the ball left the infield three times before two relievers finished off the two-hitter. The Red Sox didn’t get a runner as far as third base.
Designated hitter Adam Dunn and right fielder Dayan Viciedo homered against Clay Buchholz, Dunn’s 13th of the season coming on a solo shot in the second inning and Viciedo’s 11th of the season being a three-run homer in the fourth.
Carroll (3-5) walked two and struck out five in his first win as a starter since his major league debut on April 27. He gave up only a leadoff single to catcher A.J. Pierzynski in the third inning.
Carroll’s performance, which came on his first visit to Fenway, was the fifth straight strong start by the White Sox. Chicago starters have an 0.74 ERA over that span. The last two have been shutouts.
“I was thinking about that coming into the game,” Carroll said. “We’ve had great starting pitching and I wanted to be the guy that continues that success and ride that wave and hand the ball off. … Our staff is a good one and we can continue to go deep into games and put up performances like that.”
Javy Guerra and Zach Putnam finished up.
The Red Sox fell to 1-6 on their current homestand and have lost 12 of the last 17 to fall to 39-50.
Buchholz (3-5) worked the first seven innings and was the victim of a lack of support and a couple of bad pitches. It was his first loss in three starts since coming off the disabled list.
“With the exception of a three-hitter span in the fourth inning, I thought Clay had powerful stuff for the full seven innings of work,” said manager John Farrell.
For Dunn, the homer was the 453rd of his career, snapping a tie for 35th place on the all-time list with former Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski. Boston designated hitter David Ortiz has 450.
Both Dunn and Viciedo had two of the White Sox’s six hits.
Boston was shut out for the ninth time this season, four of those coming at home. That is already more than the Red Sox were blanked at Fenway in 2013 — when they won the World Series.