CHICAGO (AP) – The Boston Red Sox remember their last postseason blowout. And they don’t need to tell Matt Clement how they responded.

The All-Star pitcher allowed three of Chicago’s five homers Tuesday, and the White Sox won the opener of their best-of-five series 14-2. The loss snapped Boston’s eight-game postseason winning streak, which began last year after an 11-run loss to the New York Yankees put the Red Sox on the brink of elimination.

“This team is pretty resilient,” Clement said. “Their history is being pretty resilient and hopefully that will be the case.”

The Red Sox showed that last year after losing 19-8 to the Yankees in Game 3 of the AL championship series. Boston staged an unprecedented comeback to beat New York in seven games, then swept the St. Louis Cardinals for the World Series title.

“We have experience. That’s all,” catcher Jason Varitek said after the game in the defending champions’ glum clubhouse. “All you can say is we’re not going to quit, no matter what happens.”

No other team has won eight straight postseason games in one year. But that streak was less important than the 86-year title drought the Red Sox ended with last year’s World Series victory.

“These guys aren’t going to quit or go away,” said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who homered twice. “They’ve done things that are very special.”

Clement, who pitched for the Chicago Cubs last year, tried to extend his new team’s winning streak but faltered early. He hit two of the first three batters with pitches, gave up a couple of singles and then Pierzynski’s three-run homer that made it 5-0.

The Red Sox had not trailed in the playoffs since the fifth game of the Yankees’ series.

“That was a long time ago. It’s a different team,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Last year doesn’t matter. What matters to this team is how we bounce back tomorrow. … This is a different year. But I don’t have any doubt that we will bounce back.”

Paul Konerko hit a solo shot in the third to make it 6-0, and then the White Sox inflicted some physical pain on Clement to add to the emotional distress.

Carl Everett hit a line drive off Clement’s right thigh, sending the Red Sox starter to the ground. Clement, who missed a start at the end of July when he was hit in the head by Carl Crawford’s liner, was OK this time.

But his pitching problems continued.

Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer in the fourth to chase Clement and make it 8-2. In all, he was charged with eight runs on seven hits and two hit batters in just 3 1-3 innings.

“I didn’t give my team a chance to win. That disappoints me the most,” he said. “I have no excuses, no reason. I just pitched badly. You can either dwell on what’s happened or just turn the page.”

The Red Sox had to fight until the final day of the regular season to make the playoffs, leaving Francona without a chance to set up his postseason rotation. The Red Sox manager said all that mattered was that his pitchers were getting their usual rest.

But Clement has been far from an ace – at least in the second half.

He won nine of his first 10 decisions and was 10-2 – with more wins than in all of 2004 – when Francona selected him for the AL All-Star team. But on July 26 he was hit in the head by a line drive and missed a start, then went just 3-3 the rest of the season.

Clement had been scheduled to start a one-game tiebreaker on Monday if one had been needed to determine whether the Yankees, Red Sox or Cleveland Indians made the playoffs. When the Indians lost, Clement was saved for Game 1 against the White Sox.

“I’m not even sure who our No. 1 guy is,” Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon said. “I thought Matt was a good choice. He is capable of going out and making guys look silly. He just didn’t have it today. He hasn’t had it this past month.

“Hopefully, he has a chance to redeem himself.”


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