|Boston (32-33) «||0||0||0||2||0||1||1||0||0||4||8||1|
|Chi. Cubs (22-43)||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||3||8||1|
CHICAGO -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia was struggling, so Bobby Valentine did something drastic.
Bench him? Nope.
Instead, he started him in the cleanup spot for the first time in his career, and for one night, at least, it worked.
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"Sometimes crazy times ask for crazy measures," Valentine said. And the way he saw it, batting Saltalamacchia in the fourth slot was one.
He came into the game mired in an 0-for-17 slide but broke out of it with two hits, including a two-run drive in the fourth, and Boston came out on top after dropping eight of 11.
Lester (4-4) and the Red Sox were leading 4-0 when the Cubs rallied in the seventh.
Lester struck out David DeJesus before Scott Atchison retired Reed Johnson on a grounder to end the inning. Vicente Padilla worked the eighth and Alfredo Aceves finished for his 16th save in 19 chances.
Lester gave the Red Sox just what they needed on the same day Josh Beckett went on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, the latest in a long line of injuries for Boston.
The veteran allowed seven hits, struck out eight and walked one against a team that came in with a .222 average against left-handers, third lowest in the National League.
Jeff Samardzija (5-5) struck out six in 5 1/3 innings for the Cubs after getting roughed up in a loss to Minnesota in his previous start. He was charged with three runs and four hits.
Samardzija's only other glitch was the drive to right by Saltalamacchia on a 1-2 splitter.
"It felt good," Saltalamacchia said. "I talked to [Valentine] as I was walking out [Friday] night and that's exactly what he said. He said `They're gonna start falling because you've been swinging the bat well."'
The Cubs threatened with two out in the sixth, but a breakdown by Alfonso Soriano helped end it.
With runners on first and second, Middlebrooks dropped his hard liner to third. Soriano never ran, though, and was thrown out at first.
A crowd that had seen lapses from him before let him have it on the way to the dugout and when he trotted back out to left field. There were more loud boos when he struck out in the eighth.
But the way Soriano sees it, he didn't deserve that kind of treatment. He said the boos were unfair and there really wasn't much he could do on that play.
"I think that they don't understand the game," Soriano said. "It's a line drive, nothing you can do about it. If it's a ground ball and I don't run, they can do whatever they want. But a hard line drive right at the glove? I don't know what they want."
While the fans made their feelings clear, so did the Cubs. Put simply, they had Soriano's back.
"It's one of those things where 100 percent every player in the history of baseball would do the same thing," manager Dale Sveum said. "I did it a lot, a lot, of times."
Soriano is a lightning rod for fans, though -- fair or not.
"Sori takes a lot of heat for a lot of things," Samardzija said. "Obviously, it is what it is. There's not one guy in that locker room that has anything bad to say about him."
|Players of the Game|
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|Boston Red Sox|
|Scott Podsednik, LF-CF||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.390|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||0||3||.265|
|David Ortiz, 1B||2||2||1||0||2||0||1||.308|
|Daniel Nava, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.295|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||3||1||2||2||1||0||1||.254|
|Will Middlebrooks, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||1||0||.289|
|Adrian Gonzalez, RF-1B||2||0||0||0||2||1||0||.261|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF-RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.292|
|Mike Aviles, SS||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.266|
|Jon Lester, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.000|
|Scott Atchison, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Vicente Padilla, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Nick Punto, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.206|
|Alfredo Aceves, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Padilla in the 9th|
|2B - David Ortiz (21, Samardzija), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (12, Samardzija), Mike Aviles (16, R. Wells)|
|HR - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (12, Samardzija)|
|RBI - Scott Podsednik (7), Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (32), Will Middlebrooks (23)|
|CS - Mike Aviles (4, 2nd base by Corpas/Castillo)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Pedroia, Middlebrooks-Pedroia-Gonzalez|
|E - Will Middlebrooks (5, Throwing)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jon Lester (W,4-4)||6.2||7||3||3||1||8||1||4.53|
|Scott Atchison (H,3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.27|
|Vicente Padilla (H,15)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||4.32|
|Alfredo Aceves (S,16)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||4.68|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 100-67, Scott Atchison 6-5, Vicente Padilla 12-9, Alfredo Aceves 14-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 9-2, Scott Atchison 1-0, Alfredo Aceves 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jon Lester 27, Scott Atchison 1, Vicente Padilla 3, Alfredo Aceves 3|
|Reed Johnson, RF-CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.296|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.275|
|Starlin Castro, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.291|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.271|
|Jeff Baker, 1B||3||1||2||0||0||1||0||.257|
|a- Steve Clevenger, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.294|
|Joe Mather, CF||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.259|
|Randy Wells, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|b- Tony Campana, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.267|
|Manny Corpas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Bryan LaHair, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.297|
|Welington Castillo, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.200|
|Luis Valbuena, 3B||3||1||1||3||0||1||1||.111|
|Jeff Samardzija, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.182|
|David DeJesus, RF||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.261|
|a-singled for Baker in the 9th|
|b-grounded out for R. Wells in the 7th|
|c-struck out for Corpas in the 9th|
|2B - Jeff Baker (5, Lester)|
|HR - Luis Valbuena (1, Lester)|
|RBI - Luis Valbuena 3 (4)|
|CS - Starlin Castro (7, 2nd base by Lester/Saltalamacchia)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Outfield Assists - Reed Johnson 2|
|E - Reed Johnson (1, Throwing)|
|Jeff Samardzija (L,5-5)||5.1||4||3||3||3||6||1||4.04|
|HBP - Podsednik (by Manny Corpas)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Samardzija 108-67, Randy Wells 29-15, Manny Corpas 25-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Samardzija 7-2, Randy Wells 2-1, Manny Corpas 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Samardzija 22, Randy Wells 8, Manny Corpas 8|
|Attendance - 40766|
|Game Time - 3:06|
|Temperature - 90|
|Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Chad Fairchild|