Two hits. Two crummy hits.
That's all Boston needed to beat Bartolo Colon and the White Sox on Tuesday night.
Paul Konerko said after the Sox's 2-1 loss. "He threw a great game."
But not as good as John Burkett, the 38-year-old right-hander whose fastball is something of an oxymoron. Burkett stymied the Sox for six innings by keeping them off balance and painting the corners.
"He's an old pro," Frank Thomas said. "He knows that throwing every pitch a different speed can cause a little havoc."
After blowing four prime scoring opportunities, the Sox opted to give Burkett the credit rather than blaming themselves.
"We had a couple of shots to open the game up, but it wasn't from anything that we didn't do right," Konerko said. "We know the difference between giving stuff away and them making good pitches and doing their job."
Colon certainly did his job, and he earned a standing ovation from the home crowd of 23,943 for his efforts.
After inducing a groundout from Todd Walker on his 117th and final pitch, Colon tipped his cap on the way to the Sox's dugout.
But the 30-year-old right-hander surely would trade the fans' acknowledgment for a victory after suffering his third complete-game loss of the season.
"He was outstanding, a serious competitor," manager Jerry Manuel said. "That's what we expect from him the rest of the way, that type of effort."
Both of the hits Colon allowed went for home runs.
Trot Nixon cleared the right-center-field wall in the second inning on a 3-2 fastball that catcher Miguel Olivo wanted on the inside corner. Instead it tailed over the plate and went out for Nixon's 26th homer this season.
Colon was all but flawless then until the sixth, when ninth-place hitter Gabe Kapler jumped on a first-pitch breaking ball that sailed over the heart of the plate.
Trailing 2-1, Colon retired the final 11 men he faced.
If this was a preview of the playoff-type baseball the White Sox can expect the rest of the way, the South Siders want a mulligan.
"At this time of the year, you can shoot yourself in the foot or make it happen," Thomas said after the Sox lost for only the fifth time in their last 22 home games. "Tonight we really shot ourselves in the foot."
The Sox's lone run came in the first after Roberto Alomar led off with a double, his fourth consecutive two-bagger. With one out, Burkett hit Thomas with a pitch and walked Magglio Ordonez to load the bases.
Carl Everett then blooped a ball into center field. Alomar scored on the play, but Thomas, figuring the ball would be caught, was forced at third.
Paul Konerko flied out to end the inning.
Konerko, named the American League's player of the week after batting .545 with three homers and eight RBIs, thought he had evened the score in the fourth after launching a fly to deep left. Kapler caught it on the warning track.
"I thought that was gone," Konerko said. "What can you do? I guess [I needed more] breakfast."
Red Sox 2, White Sox 1