Game Forty-Five – Cubs 1 Red Sox 5
WP – Tim Wakefield (1-1) LP – James Russell (1-5) Save – None
For the seventh time this season the Cubs began play on Sunday with a chance to win a series … and for the seventh time the Cubs came out on the losing end. Q’s offense could not figure out Tim Wakefield and managed only five hits and six total baserunners on the night. Wakefield allowed only one run in 6 2/3 innings on four hits. The Cubs did not work a single walk against Wakefield and showed little to no patience at the plate. Wakefield threw 75 pitches, 54 for strikes.
The Cubs only run in the game came in the seventh after a leadoff double by Starlin Castro and a two-out double off the bat of Jeff Baker. Baker left the game after limping out of the box and sliding awkwardly into second base. Reports during the game stated Baker departed with a left groin strain and will be evaluated by team doctors Tuesday.
The Cubs managed only three baserunners and two hits over the first six innings … 11 of the first 17 outs Wakefield recorded were groundball outs.
James Russell pitched better than most thought he would especially after tossing three innings of shutout ball Friday night. Russell kept the Red Sox off the board over the first three innings but struggled in the fourth. The Red Sox scored a pair of runs on two sacrifice flies after they loaded the bases with no outs.
Mike Quade sent Russell out to start the fifth and Russell served up Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s second homer of the series. Russell gave up three runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts in four-plus innings. Russell threw 57 pitches, 39 for strikes, after throwing 39 over three innings Friday night.
John Grabow and Kerry Wood gave up the Red Sox other two runs in the seventh. Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez reached on back-to-back, two-out infield singles off Grabow. Mike Quade brought in Kerry Wood and Kevin Youkilis tripled them in to complete the scoring.
With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs finished the seven-game road trip with a 3-4 record and slipped back to five games under .500 with a 20-25 mark … Tim Wakefield retired the Cubs in order to start the game … on three groundouts. The Cubs’ timing was visibly off as they tried to figure out how to hit the knuckleballer.
James Russell took the mound less than 48 hours after throwing three shoutout innings. Russell was sharp, threw strikes and worked around a bloop and a misplayed ball.
Russell retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a ground out to first. Dustin Pedroia ripped a 1-1 pitch off of Aramis Ramirez’s glove as he dove to try to make a play on the grounder. Adrian Gonzalez then reached on a bloop single to left just over Ramirez. Russell jammed Gonzalez on the 0-2 pitch.
With runners on first and second with one out, Russell struck out Kevin Youkilis on a 3-2 pitch and retired David Ortiz on a groundout to first to end the inning.
The Cubs went in order in the top of the second.
James Russell faced the minimum in the bottom of the second. Jed Lowrie led off with an infield single up the middle but was erased on a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Mike Cameron. Carl Crawford flied out to left to end the inning.
The Cubs got their first hit in the third, Alfonso Soriano singled to left center. Welington Castillo grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Reed Johnson flied out to first to end the inning.
James Russell retired the Sox in order in the bottom of the third on just six pitches, four strikes. After three complete, Russell had thrown only 34 pitches, 24 for strikes.
The top of the Cubs lineup started the fourth … and did not fare any better against Wakefield. Fukudome, Barney and Castro did not show any patience and went in order rather quickly.
The Red Sox finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez reached on a single to left on a 0-2 pitch. James Russell walked Kevin Youkilis on five pitches.
David Ortiz stepped in and singled to left on the first pitch he saw from Russell. With the bases loaded and no outs, Jed Lowrie hit a deep fly to center. Reed Johnson made the catch but Gonzalez tagged and scored the first run of the game. Youkilis advanced to third on the play.
Mike Cameron hit a fly to center on a 1-0 pitch. Youkilis tagged and scored … 2-0 Red Sox.
Russell struck out Carl Crawford to end the inning … after four, Russell’s pitch count stood at 50, 34 for strikes.
Wakefield faced only four batters in the top of the fifth. Jeff Baker reached on a wild pitch on strike three to keep the inning going but Soriano popped out to second on the first pitch to end the inning.
Prior to the game Mike Quade said he was hoping to get four innings out of James Russell … and he did but for some reason sent him back out to start the fifth.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia launched a 1-0 pitch from Russell, his second offering and 52nd pitch of the game, into the last row of the Monster seats in left field. The Sox took a 3-0 lead.
Jacoby Ellsbury followed with an infield single to short on a 1-2 pitch and chased James Russell from the game.
Justin Berg replaced Russell and received a little pick up from his catcher. Ellsbury broke for second on a 2-2 offering to Pedroia. Welington Castillo threw a strike to Barney who tagged out his former college teammate for the second out of the inning … and the play ended up saving the Cubs a run.
Adrian Gonzalez followed with a double off the Monster on a 2-2 pitch. Berg retired Youkilis on a pop out to center to end the inning.
Welington Castillo led off the sixth with the Cubs’ second hit of the game. Wakefield uncorked his second wild pitch of the game with Johnson at the plate. Castillo took second but did not advance after Johnson, Fukudome and Barney went down in order to end the inning.
John Grabow worked around a leadoff double by David Ortiz in the bottom of the sixth. Big Papi hit a deep drive to left that Baker misplayed (ball went off his glove) into a double.
Starlin Castro led off the top of the seventh with a double down the left field line on a 2-2 pitch from Wakefield. Aramis Ramirez tapped back to the mound for the first out of the inning.
Carlos Pena gave Wakefield’s first offering a ride, but Mike Cameron caught the ball several feet from the short wall in right. Castro advanced to third on the play.
Jeff Baker ripped a 0-1 pitch off the Monster. Castro scored easily as Baker limped around first on his way to second. Baker slid awkwardly into second after the two-out RBI … and left the game. Tony Campana ran for Baker.
Terry Francona made the slow walk and replaced Tim Wakefield with the hard-throwing Daniel Bard. Alfonso Soriano did what Soriano does best with runners in scoring position, he struck out swinging to end the inning.
At the end of six and a half, the Cubs were down 3-1.
The Sox put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh. John Grabow retired Salty and Ellsbury to start the inning. Dustin Pedroia reached on an infield single to third. Adrian Gonzalez also reached on an infield single, to Castro up the middle. Mike Quade brought in Kerry Wood to face Kevin Youkilis with two out and the Cubs down by only two.
Youkilis reached out and ripped a 1-2 pitch into right center near the 420-foot sign. Youkilis ended up on third with a triple and the Red Sox added to their lead. Pedroia and Gonzalez scored … 5-1 Red Sox.
David Ortiz tapped back to Wood to end the inning.
The Cubs offense went 1-2-3 in the eighth against Daniel Bard.
Kerry Wood plunked Jed Lowrie on the hip to start the bottom of the eighth. Wood and both benches were warned as the feeling was it was more retaliation for Saturday night. Mike Cameron grounded out to the hole at short but Wood appeared to get out of the inning when Crawford grounded into a 6-4-3 double play … but Welington Castillo was called for catcher’s interference, the second time in the series a Cubs’ catcher was called for interference. Both runners were safe and Quade brought in Scott Maine to face Salty with one out.
The Red Sox catcher hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Aramis Ramirez hit a two-out double off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth … but that was it. Pena struck out swinging to end the game.
The Cubs limped out of Boston with one win in the three game series.
The Cubs will spend Monday evaluating all of their injured players. Several roster moves should be made before the Cubs next game on Tuesday against the Mets. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face Jon Niese in the opener of the three-game series.