Game Eighty-Two: Cubs 2, Red Sox 1
WP – Pedro Strop (1-3) LP – Koji Uehara (3-2) Save – Hector Rondon (11)
With the game tied at one, Anthony Rizzo led off the ninth inning with a single to center. Starlin Castro followed with a double to left off Red Sox closer Koji Uehara. Luis Valbuena stepped in and lifted a 3-2 pitch into right field that allowed Rizzo to tag and score the go ahead run. And the Cubs held on in the ninth and beat the Red Sox for the second day in a row.
The Cubs found a way to win a close game Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth after finally getting to Edwin Jackson. But it could have been more. Starlin Castro made an excellent stop on a ball ticketed for center off the bat of Mike Napoli with the bags loaded and flipped to Darwin Barney to end the inning.
The Cubs defense played a big role in Tuesday’s victory. Every player in Renteria’s starting eight made plays in the field behind Edwin Jackson and the Cubs pen that took away hits from the Red Sox, or in the case of Castro’s stop, took the momentum away from Boston.
The offense answered the Red Sox’s run in the top of the sixth and tied the game. Justin Ruggiano (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) led off the sixth with a double, moved to third on a single by Darwin Barney (1-for-3) and scored when Chris Coghlan (1-for-4 with a RBI) hit a one-hopper back up the middle that Dustin Pedroia deflected with his glove to Stephen Drew at the second base bag for an out.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a run scored and a HBP), Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a double) and Luis Valbuena (0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly RBI) put together good at bats in the ninth off Koji Uehara that provided the go ahead and eventual winning run.
The offense made what they could out of seven hits and two hit batsmen Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Edwin Jackson posted his first quality start since May 17. Jackson was charged with one run on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts Tuesday night. Jackson had good command and showed it from time to time. Jackson benefited from several excellent defensive plays behind him and two horrible baserunning mistakes by the Red Sox in the second inning. Jackson threw 103 pitches in six innings, 58 were strikes.
Wesley Wright and Neil Ramirez combined on a scoreless seventh inning. And Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Hector Rondon picked up the save for the second straight night after giving up a two-out, infield single to Brock Holt and replay upheld a very close play at first base on Dustin Pedroia to end the game.
The Cubs won a series at Fenway Park for the first time since 1915 when the Cubs swept a four-game series from the Boston Braves.
With Tuesday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 36-46 on the season.
The game was scoreless through the top of the fifth. The Cubs defense stepped up behind Edwin Jackson while the offense managed only one off Clay Buchholz.
Stephen Drew hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle that Darwin Barney made a good play on and a quick throw to first just ahead of Drew for the first out in the fifth. Mookie Betts flied out right. Jackie Bradley Jr. went with a 1-1 pitch and hit double off the Monster. Brock Holt singled to left. Bradley Jr. held at third with one down. Dustin Pedroia lined a single into left center off the tip of a leaping Starlin Castro’s glove. Bradley Jr. scored and the Sox took a 1-0 lead. After David Ortiz walked to load the bases, Mike Napoli ripped a 1-2 pitch back up the middle that Starlin Castro made a good pick on and flipped to Darwin Barney to end the inning. Jackson threw 85 pitches in five innings, 48 for strikes.
At the end of five innings, the Cubs trailed 1-0.
Clay Buchholz took the hill for the sixth inning with a 1-0 lead after retiring the last 13 batters he faced. Justin Ruggiano doubled over Betts’ head in right to start the inning. Darwin Barney singled to left center and the Cubs had runners on the corners with no outs. Chris Coghlan pounded a 0-1 pitch back up the middle. Pedroia got a glove on the ball and deflected it to Drew at second. Barney was forced as Ruggiano scored and tied the game at one. With Coghlan on first, Ryan Sweeney singled to right center. Rizzo stepped in with runners on the corners and one out. Anthony Rizzo smoked a 2-0 pitch toward first that Napoli snared and stepped on first to double off Sweeney to end the inning.
Edwin Jackson kept the Sox off the board in the bottom of the sixth … and after six complete, the game was tied at one.
Both teams left a pair of runners on base in the seventh. And the game went to the eighth still tied at one.
The Cubs and Red Sox went down in order in the eighth.
Anthony Rizzo led off the ninth against Koji Uehara with a sharp single to center and snapped a 0-for-13 skid at the plate. Starlin Castro worked a full count before pulling a double into the left field corner. Gary Jones held Rizzo at third with no outs. Luis Valbuena also worked a full count. Valbuena lifted the 3-2 offering from Uehara into right. Mookie Betts caught the ball, Rizzo tagged and scored and the Cubs took a 2-1 lead. With Castro at third, Castillo popped out to Pedroia and Junior Lake struck out for the sixth time in the series to end the inning.
The game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs up 2-1.
Hector Rondon took the hill and retired Betts with a fly ball to center for the first out. Rondon caught Bradley Jr. looking for the second out. But Brock Holt reached on an infield single to third. Valbuena tried to make a backhand pick and throw, but he bobbled the ball and the tying run reached first base. Dustin Pedroia stepped in and hit a grounder toward the hold at short. Valbuena made an excellent diving stop, got to his feet and made a low throw to first that Rizzo scooped to end the game. It was a close play that the Red Sox asked the umpires to look at. The call on the field was upheld … Game over, Cubs win.
Travis Wood takes on Brandon Workman in the series finale at Fenway Park on Wednesday night (6:10pm CDT).