BOSTON — After picking up an series equalizing win on Saturday night, the Cubs returned to action on Sunday, looking to pick up an important series win versus the Boston Red Sox. Baseball fans all over have been salivating throughout this historic series, one that features two original ball clubs and the return of many prominent ex-Sox – Theo Epstein, John Lackey, Koji Uehara, and Jon Lester.
Last night’s matchup featured Kyle Hendricks (2-1) versus Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1), both looking to but their respected team in the win column. Hanley Ramirez, for the second consecutive night, hit a monster home run over the Green Monster in left field. Andrew Benintendi scored on the hit, putting the Sox ahead 2-0 early.
Rodriguez held the Cubs scoreless until the fifth inning when Kris Bryant, also for the second consecutive, homered to deep center field, putting the Cubs within one. Rodriguez would only last for one more inning before being pulled in the sixth for reliever Joe Kelly; his final stat line looked a little like this: 6.0 IP, 5 H, R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K.
Joe Kelly’s wildness cost him in the seventh inning when he allowed Jon Jay to score on a passed ball from second base. Catcher Christian Vazquez couldn’t seem to locate the ball immediately following the wild pitch, thus providing the opportunity for Jay to score from second. The original call on the play was that Jay was out, but upon further review the call was overturned.
Carl Edwards Jr. relieved Hendricks in the bottom half of the seventh, ending his night. Hendricks’ start is a positive sign for Cubs fans looking for anything good out of the Cubs starting pitchers and their recent outings. Koji Uehara took over in the eighth, possibly his last appearance at Fenway ever. Uehara, without recording an out, loaded the bases. Pedro Strop inherited the situation, looking to bail the Cubs out of a seemingly miserable dilemma. Following a big first out, Pedro Strop showed his lack of control by allowing a run on a wild pitch. Hernandez scored on the gaff, and the runners at first and second moved up an additional ninety feet.
Mitch Moreland then grounded out, picking up an RBI in the process. Dustin Pedroia hit a routine groundout to short, but shortstop Addison Russell was unable to make an accurate throw to Anthony Rizzo. The bases cleared on the error and the Red Sox now lead 6-2 with a Cubs pitching change coming.
In the ninth, Craig Kimbrel shut out the Cubs, giving the Red Sox the win 6-2.
Kris Bryant: 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Kyle Hendricks: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2R/2ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Hanley Ramirez: 1-3, 2-R HR, R, 2 RBI
Kyle Hendricks pitched a well needed quality start, consequently lowering his ERA in the process. Kris Bryant’s early season woes seem far behind him as he unleashed another home run tonight.
The Cubs bullpen couldn’t seem to hold on tonight, their first poor outing in recent games. Uehara had a tough time tonight, his second bad outing following the second day of a back-to-back. The Cubs were only fortunate enough to take one away from Boston this weekend.
The Cubs return home tomorrow to begin their series with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs look to put tonight’s loss behind them while sending Brett Anderson (2-0) to the bump. Vince Velasquez (1-2) gets the nod for the Phils.
First Pitch: 7:05 PM (CT)
Radio: 670 The Score