The Red Sox have risen to the top of the American League this season by being a complete team, but most recently it's been a historic run by their pitching staff that has made Boston the class of the Junior Circuit.
Red Sox pitchers have held opponents to three runs or fewer and eight hits or fewer in 11 straight games. The only longer three-run, eight-hit streak in the last 25 years was a 12-gamer by the 1991 Blue Jays (June 29-July 13).
That stretch has kept the Red Sox -- winners in six of their last seven -- atop the AL and lengthened their AL East lead to 4 1/2 games over the Rays, who lost to the A's on Saturday.
Left-hander Felix Doubront takes the ball on Sunday at Fenway Park to try to extend that streak as Boston tries to sweep the White Sox, who have won 10 of their last 14.
Doubront has continued to turn in solid performances despite a mid-August hiccup, posting a 3.64 ERA and 1.21 WHIP as the Red Sox won four of his five starts last month. The 25-year-old faced Baltimore on Tuesday, throwing 6 2/3 strong innings and only facing trouble in the third, when he gave up both of his runs.
He worked out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam that inning, showing poise that impressed Red Sox manager John Farrell.
"He's shown it repeatedly," Farrell said. "He has a way of staying under control and giving up one or two runs rather than it being a four- or five-run inning."
The White Sox look to avoid the sweep behind rookie right-hander Andre Rienzo, who has pitched much better on the road (2.88 ERA) than at home (7.15). Rienzo allowed five runs in six innings in his last start against the Astros.
The rookie has started strong in his six outings this season -- holding opponents to a .172 average and one home run from pitches 1-45 -- but has struggled after the 45-pitch mark, allowing opponents to hit .300 with five homers from pitches 46-112.
White Sox: Leesman, Anderson to join squad
• Left-handed pitcher Charlie Leesman and catcher Bryan Anderson are expected to be called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday when rosters expand, manager Robin Ventura said Saturday.
Anderson, 26, will serve as the team's third catcher behind Josh Phegley and Tyler Flowers. Leesman, who made a spot start on Aug. 9, could get another start in September, but he will mainly work out of the bullpen.
Ventura expects more callups early next week.
• Right fielder Avisail Garcia is hitting .476 in his last five games and .394 in his last 17.
• The White Sox bullpen has a 1.82 ERA in its last 19 games.
Red Sox: The Flyin' Hawaiian
• Outfielder Shane Victorino is batting .500 with four doubles and 11 RBIs in his last six games.
• The Red Sox will only call up a few players when the rosters expand on Sunday because of Triple-A Pawtucket's playoff berth. Farrell said the team expects to call up "three or four" players on Sunday and will wait until the PawSox season ends before promoting more reinforcements.
• Boston acquired infielder John McDonald and cash considerations from the Phillies on Saturday in exchange for Minor League pitcher Nefi Ogando.
• After winning six of eight against the White Sox in 2012, the Red Sox are looking for back-to-back winning seasons against Chicago for the first time since 2003-08. They lead the season series, 3-2, entering Sunday's finale.
• Chicago has lost five of its last six at Fenway Park following a seven-game winning streak.