The Cubs have been falling behind early in many of their games, a trend that continued Saturday at Fenway Park against the Red Sox. This time the World Champions were able to rally back and overcome the early deficit.
Starter John Lackey threw a perfect 1st inning for the first time in 2017, though the perfection would not last long for Big John. In the 2nd inning Jackie Bradley singled home Mitch Moreland to put the Red Sox ahead.
Xander Bogaerts tripled to open the 3rd and scored on an Andrew Benintendi sacrifice fly. Later that same inning, Hanley Ramirez blasted a homer over the Green Monster to put Boston ahead 3-0.
Knuckleball specialist Steven Wright held the Cubs in check the first few innings, but Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to 10 with a double in the 4th. Anthony Rizzo followed with a two-run shot to bring the Cubs within one.
Benintendi continued to make his Rookie of the Year case by taking Lackey out to dead center in the 5th. Bryant hit his second double in the 6th and would eventually score on Ben Zobrist’s grounder to get the run back.
Things came together for Chicago in the top of the 7th inning, which began with Miguel Montero whacking a home run to left field to tie the game. A Jon Jay double knocked Wright out of the game, after which the struggling Kyle Schwarber poked a single to center off Robbie Scott to put the Northsiders ahead 5-4.
After another pitching change, Bryant walked and Rizzo hit a grounder to first that Mitch Moreland threw to 2nd for the force. Then shortstop Bogaerts made an ill-advised throw to first that went wide, allowing Schwarber to score. Moreland threw past second trying to get Rizzo, who was able to cruise to third just 90 feet shy of a Little League home run.
Koji Uehara pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning and Hector Rondon pitched a clean 8th. Zobrist continued to show signs of life, clearing the Monster for a solo shot in the 9th.
Wade Davis pitched around a baserunner to save the 7-4 Cubs victory.
Stats That Matter
- Much has been made of Kris Bryant coming back to Boston to take on his dad’s former organization. Well, KB has put on a show for his old man so far this weekend. After going 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk, any concern of a slow start is gone.
- John Lackey followed his usual 2017 script on Saturday: 6 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 4 K, and 1 BB. Lack is going to give up runs, but he will give a team 6 innings.
- Miguel Montero continues to hit, going 2-for-4 with the game-tying home run. The Cubs have to be pleased with what Miggy is giving from the offensive side this year.
The Cubs have been able to mostly overcome their slow starts on a 5-3 road trip. Still would be nice if they were able to jump ahead early on occasion.
The Cubs finish their nine-game trip Sunday Night at Fenway Park. Kyle Hendricks looks to build on a good start in Pittsburgh against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. The game at 7 CT is exclusively on ESPN, but 670 The Score has the radio call.