Chicago, IL – Boston put two runs across in the first inning and that is all Clay Buchholz would need as the right-hander went seven strong innings to help the Red Sox to a 6-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in the finale of a three-game set.
David Ortiz drove in two with a single to left in the opening frame off Hector Santiago (1-3), who struck out nine over six innings of work. Santiago got the start in place of Chris Sale, who was scratched with shoulder tendinitis but is expected to make his next scheduled start.
Buchholz (7-0) allowed just a run on five hits to become the first Red Sox pitcher since Josh Beckett in 2007 to start the season 7-0.
"Confidence is a big thing," Buchholz said. "It's fun pitching when you're (going) good."
Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits apiece while Daniel Nava drove in a pair.
With one away in the first, Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch and Dustin Pedroia doubled, setting up Ortiz to drive in the game's first runs.
Chicago threatened in the bottom of the first when Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios drew walks, but Gomes' diving catch in left field robbed Paul Konerko of an extra base hit to end the inning.
The White Sox broke through with a run in the third. Tyler Flowers reached on an infield single and eventually scored on a Rios ground out to short.
Buchholz gave up a single in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but none of those baserunners reached second base.
"He made pitches when he needed to," Konerko said. "He's a great pitcher."
Boston bats gave their bullpen two insurance runs in the eighth when they loaded the bases for Will Middlebrooks, whose sacrifice fly gave the Red Sox a 3-1 edge. Mike Napoli then scored on a passed ball.
Nava's two-RBI single to left in the ninth plated Ellsbury and Gomes, and Konerko's solo homer off Andrew Bailey in the bottom half rounded out the scoring.
Buchholz joined Patrick Corbin (7-0) and Matt Moore (8-0) as the only pitchers in the majors with at least seven wins and no losses. Buchholz has also exceeded 100 pitches for the ninth straight game ... Alex Rios extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games.