Benintendi, Bradley homer to lift Red Sox past White Sox 4-1

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BOSTON — Drew Pomeranz was trailing 1-0 after his second pitch of the game, and he knows that things can get worse — quickly — at Fenway Park.

But after giving up Tim Anderson’s leadoff homer, the Boston left-hander got out of the inning — and into the seventh — without allowing any more runs and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 4-1 on Saturday night for their fifth straight win.

“It’s all about not letting it snowball into something else,” said Pomeranz (11-4), who has lost just once in 15 starts since starting the season 3-3. “You give up the homer, get rid of it. Set up the next guy, try to sit him down.”

One night after Mitch Moreland hit a walkoff homer in the 11th, the Red Sox rallied early. Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the first, and Jackie Bradley Jr. cleared the bullpen with a man on in the second to give Boston a lead it never relinquished.

“We can swing it a little bit,” Bradley said.

The Red Sox have won seven of their last nine games and are 35-20 at Fenway Park — the best home record in the AL. They maintained a three-game lead in the division over the second-place Yankees, who beat Cleveland 2-1.

Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

James Shields (2-4) took the loss for the White Sox, who have dropped five straight games and 22 of their last 26. Shields was charged with four runs — three earned — five hits and an intentional walk, striking out six in six innings.

Shields is 1-4 with a 7.63 ERA since spending two months on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his back.

“He did a nice job keeping us in contention there for the whole ballgame,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He did a nice job working after giving those two (homers) up early.”