After watching Scott Carroll give up seven runs in his last start, White Sox manager Robin Ventura had a simple goal for his rookie right-hander.
Carroll did that and more, following perhaps the worst start of his young career with what was definitely his best: 6 2-3 innings of one-hit ball against the struggling Red Sox to help Chicago beat the defending World Series champions 4-0 on Monday night.
"I think he understands where he's at," Ventura said. "He came out, he was focused and he did it."
Making the eighth start of his career, Carroll (3-5) walked two and struck out five and allowed only A.J. Pierzynski's third-inning single. Adam Dunn hit a solo homer in the second inning and doubled and scored on Dayan Viciedo's three-run home run in the fourth.
"This one felt really good," said Carroll, who wore a cap that said, "Target Sale" to promote teammate Chris Sale's candidacy for the final spot on the AL All-Star roster. "I felt confident in myself tonight from the first batter."
Three White Sox pitchers held Boston to five baserunners in all — none of them reaching third base — with Jackie Bradley Jr.'s single off Javy Guerra to lead off the eighth the only other Red Sox hit. It was Chicago's second consecutive shutout, Hector Noesi beating Seattle 1-0 on Sunday.
"I want to be the guy that continues that," Carroll said.
The Red Sox have lost six of seven games and 12 of 17 to fall into last place in the AL East. Clay Buchholz (3-5) allowed four runs on five hits and a walk, and struck out seven in seven innings.
"I'm done talking about the offense," Buchholz said. "It's not like they're out there not trying or anything. It's just not working right now. I'm not going to answer any more questions about our offense."
Dunn's homer was his 13th of the season and the 453rd of his career, moving him past Red Sox hall of famer Carl Yastrzemski and into 35th place on baseball's all-time list. All of Chicago's runs came on the two homers.
"Baseball is brutal," Ventura said. "There's a lot of good stuff he did tonight. He ended up paying for the ones that he didn't."
The start of the game was delayed by 39 minutes because of severe weather moving through the area. There were two brief but torrential downpours during the game that sent fans scurrying but didn't stop play.
The Red Sox were shut out for the ninth time this season and the fourth time at Fenway; they were shut out only three times at home all of last season in winning their third World Series title in 10 seasons.
"We weren't able to get anything going. Two hits; two singles," Red Sox outfielder Brock Holt said. "I don't have any answers. We've got guys up and down the lineup that know what to do and have done it before, but we're just not getting it done right now."
NOTES: Carroll allowed seven runs on 10 hits and three walks in six innings in his previous start, a 7-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. ... The Red Sox won a manager's challenge at first base even though replays showed that Jim Joyce's original call, that Mike Napoli's foot came off the base, was correct. ... The Red Sox activated 1B/OF Mike Carp from the 15-day disabled list and optioned INF Jonathan Herrera to Triple-A Pawtucket. ... The Red Sox fell to 2-5 against Chicago teams, having been swept by the Cubs at home last week in a three-game interleague series.