Last night, an ill wind from the Windy City blew down the Red Sox’ best chances to swiftly turn a 6-4 loss into a closer ballgame.

Two long outs — one by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the seventh, the other by Will Middlebrooks in the ninth — made all the difference for an offense that could not catch up with the White Sox.

Middlebrooks’ deep out was the harder hit of the two. With a runner on first, Middlebrooks represented the tying run. He was facing hard-throwing young Chicago closer Addison Reed. Middlebrooks made solid contact, but center fielder Alejandro De Aza hauled it in with his back against the wall.

“They’ve got a guy who throws pretty hard, he’s got a good slider,” said Middlebrooks. “After he threw that slider for a ball, 1-2, I had a good feeling he’d go back to that fastball because I had swung through a couple of them. Just kind of geared up early and caught it a little out front and just didn’t get it all the way.”

Middlebrooks, who also laced a two-run double in the seventh that came just a few feet short of sailing over the left field wall, figured he had done enough to send this ball over before the elements took over.

“I thought I did, but the wind was blowing in. I knew it was going to be close,” he said. “I hit it too high to hit it over the guy’s head and he was playing no doubles.”

Saltalamacchia, who accounted for the other two Red Sox runs with his home run in the third, was fooled like everyone else by Middlebrooks’ final at-bats.

“Will crushed that ball down the line, I thought it was going to be out easily, and then the one he hit to center,” said Saltalamacchia. “But you know I think the wind started changing a little bit so you really couldn’t hit it.”