CHICAGO — Clay Buchholz missed a chance for a complete-game victory Monday night. The Boston Red Sox right-hander didn’t seem to mind.

Buchholz scattered five hits over eight solid innings in a 6-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

“Everything fell right into place,” said Buchholz (17-7), who struck out five and walked one. “It’s been pretty fun this season and I’ve got one more start.”

A Red Sox loss would have locked up playoff spots for the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees. Instead, Boston took an early lead, pulled away and stayed mathematically alive in the wild-card race while the Rays and Yankees lost.

The magic number remains at one for the Rays and Yankees to reach the postseason.

David Ortiz, Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre each drove in two runs. Beltre had four hits, and Marco Scutaro had three and scored three times as Boston won the opener of a four-game series.

Buchholz never gave up more than one hit in any inning, and had trouble in only one when he had runners on second and third with no outs in the third.

“Boy, he was sure good,” Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said. “All his pitches he threw for strikes. It was fun to watch.”

Buchholz’s only complete game came on June 4, an 11-0 decision over Baltimore.

Mark Buehrle (12-13) gave up 11 hits in six innings, taking his third straight loss even as he hit 200 innings pitched for the 10th straight season.

Martinez extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single to center in the first inning. Beltre doubled off the wall and both came home on Ortiz’ two-out double that skipped past Paul Konerko down the first-base line.

Martinez had a sacrifice fly in the third inning that drove in Scutaro, who led off the inning with a double down the third-base line.

In the fifth, the Red Sox had two runners on and one out for Beltre, who drove home Scutaro with a single to left for a 4-0 lead.

White Sox third baseman Brent Morel broke the shutout in the fifth with a deep sacrifice fly that scored A.J. Pierzynski. Three White Sox tagged Buchholz for deep flies in he seventh, all caught at the warning track.

Beltre doubled home Martinez in the ninth to extend the Red Sox lead to 6-1.

Ortiz’s two RBI gave him 100 for the season, and Beltre’s two gave him 101.

“It’s always nice to get 100 RBI and to help the team out,” Beltre said. “But a good year would have been better if everyone would have been healthy.”