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Chicago at Boston

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (19-24)0020300005124
Boston (24-20) «20242005x15191

Gonzalez fires 4 hits, 4 RBI as Red Sox spank Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox are on the verge of finally pulling themselves out of the hole they dug with that 2-10 start.

Adrian Gonzalez had four of Boston's 19 hits, adding four RBI on Friday night as the Red Sox welcomed the Chicago Cubs back to Fenway Park for the first time since 1918 by beating them 15-5. It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Red Sox, moving them past the Yankees and within a half-game of the AL East-leading Rays.

"That's where we want to be," said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had two hits, including a homer. "We know we've got a great team. There's no reason why we shouldn't be in first place right now. We want to be in first place and stay in first place the whole year."

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Jon Lester (6-1) won his sixth straight decision despite giving up a career-high 12 hits. He allowed five runs, two walks and a hit batter, striking out five. Scott Atchison earned his first career save with three innings of scoreless relief.

Kevin Youkilis had two doubles and a two-run homer, and Jacoby Ellsbury also had three hits for Boston, which improved to 22-10 since losing 10 of its first 12 games.

"What we did the first week of the season, you really can't remedy that," manager Terry Francona said. "I don't think our goal was to be four games above .500, but we are playing better."

Returning to Boston to play the Red Sox for the first time since the 1918 World Series, the Cubs committed four errors and gave up 19 hits. If Cubs pitchers had forgotten in all that time how close the Green Monster is to home plate, they know now after Boston had six doubles and hit two home runs over Fenway's famous left-field wall.

"All those flyballs," said Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano, who misplayed a line drive into an error. "A routine flyball can go off the wall. We're professionals. We need to make adjustments and play the wall."

Jeff Baker had four hits and Aramis Ramirez three for Chicago, which was coming off a two-game sweep of Florida. Doug Davis (0-2) gave up seven runs on eight hits and three walks, striking out three in 3 2/3 innings.

Boston won the 1918 World Series, a milestone that for decades reminded Red Sox fans of the franchise's failure but now stands as a landmark only for Chicago as it seeks its first championship since 1908.

"[This] put an end to my enthusiasm for this momentous occasion," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "They're tough. I feel really good about us offensively and we're doing a good job against left-handed starters. But, four errors isn't going to get it done."

Cubs fans made their presence known in the sellout crowd of 37,140, outcheering the locals at times. There was even an appearance of the Blues Brothers in the stands.

But the Chicago players did not adapt well to their new surroundings, committing four errors plus a dropped flyball by right fielder Reed Johnson that was changed to a double. The Red Sox scored two in the first, one of them on a throwing error by catcher Koyie Hill when he tried to catch Ellsbury stealing third.

The Cubs tied it at 2 in the third, but Boston scored two more in the bottom half and then made it 8-2 with four more runs in the fourth. After Gonzalez's two-run single chased Davis, Scott Maine came in and gave up a two-run homer to Youkilis.

The Cubs cut it to 8-5 in the fifth, scoring two on a double by Johnson. Saltalamacchia led off the bottom half with a homer and Boston added another run to make it 10-5, then scored two more in the eighth.

The Red Sox took the 1918 Series in six games, with just 15,238 fans settling into Fenway to watch the clincher. (The Chicago History Museum recently published a document indicating that Cubs players might have been paid to throw the Series.) Babe Ruth, who won two games in the series, entered the final game as a defensive replacement in left field. Just two months later, World War I ended.

With two titles in this century, the Red Sox have left their futility behind. But the Cubs are still looking for their first championship in more than a century.

Notes

  • The Red Sox activated RHP Dan Wheeler from the 15-day disabled list and selected INF Drew Sutton from their Triple-A roster. To make room for them in Boston, the ballclub optioned RHP Michael Bowden and SS Jose Iglesias to Pawtucket. To make room for Sutton on the 40-man roster, the club designated OF Daniel Nava for assignment. The Red Sox also added LHP Franklin Morales to the active roster.
  • Dennis Eckersley threw out the first pitch to Carlton Fisk. Bill Buckner was also in the ballpark, to provide analysis for the Chicago TV broadcast.
  • Youkilis' two-run homer gave him 500 career RBI.
  • Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano turned Saltalamacchia's seventh-inning single into two bases when he charged it and ran right past it.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Adrian Gonzalez connects on one of his four hits against the Cubs on Friday. (Getty Images)
Adrian Gonzalez connects on one of his four hits against the Cubs on Friday. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Boston

A. Gonzalez
AB 6
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 4
Chicago

J. Baker
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starlin Castro, SS5000022 .322
Darwin Barney, 2B5110002 .318
Jeff Baker, 3B5240000 .370
Aramis Ramirez, DH4031001 .299
   a- Tony Campana, PH-DH1000010 .500
Carlos Pena, 1B4101104 .229
Marlon Byrd, CF2000023 .308
   b- Blake DeWitt, PH1000000 .250
Alfonso Soriano, LF4120021 .265
Reed Johnson, RF4022002 .404
Koyie Hill, C3000113 .225
Totals38512428  
a-struck out for Ramirez in the 9th
b-flied out for Byrd in the 9th
Batting
2B - Darwin Barney (6, Lester), Aramis Ramirez (10, Lester), Reed Johnson (6, Lester)
RBI - Aramis Ramirez (16), Carlos Pena (18), Reed Johnson 2 (13)
2-OUT RBI - Reed Johnson 2 (8)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Marlon Byrd 1
DP - Castro-Barney-Pena
PB - Koyie Hill (1)
E - Starlin Castro 2 (9, Throwing), Koyie Hill (4, Throwing), Alfonso Soriano (4, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Doug Davis (L,0-2) 3.2877330 8.31
Scott Maine 0.1533102 40.50
James Russell 3200010 6.26
Jeff Samardzija 1453210 3.91
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Davis 89-47, Scott Maine 37-19, James Russell 39-25, Jeff Samardzija 46-27
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Davis 2-5, Scott Maine 2-0, James Russell 3-4, Jeff Samardzija 1-2
Batters Faced - Doug Davis 21, Scott Maine 8, James Russell 10, Jeff Samardzija 10
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF6232012 .297
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4320223 .246
    Drew Sutton, 2B0000000 .000
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B6144001 .326
Kevin Youkilis, 3B5233002 .271
David Ortiz, DH5220003 .297
Jed Lowrie, SS5021004 .313
Mike Cameron, RF3100213 .152
Carl Crawford, LF5112013 .212
    Darnell McDonald, LF0000000 .150
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C3321200 .236
Totals4215191365  
Batting
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (14, Maine), Dustin Pedroia (6, Davis), Kevin Youkilis 2 (13, Davis, Russell), David Ortiz 2 (8, Davis, Samardzija)
HR - Kevin Youkilis (8, Maine), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2, Maine)
SF - Kevin Youkilis (2)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (21), Adrian Gonzalez 4 (41), Kevin Youkilis 3 (30), Jed Lowrie (19), Carl Crawford 2 (13), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (11)
2-OUT RBI - Adrian Gonzalez 3 (19), Kevin Youkilis 2 (12), Jed Lowrie (9)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury (14, off Davis/Hill), Dustin Pedroia (8, 3rd base off Davis/Hill)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Lowrie-Pedroia-Gonzalez
E - Jed Lowrie (6, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester (W,6-1) 61255250 3.68
Scott Atchison (S,1) 3000030 4.32
HBP - Byrd (by Jon Lester), Byrd (by Scott Atchison)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 104-73, Scott Atchison 33-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 8-4, Scott Atchison 3-3
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 32, Scott Atchison 10
Game Information
Attendance - 37140
Game Time - 3:35
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Ed Rapuano