Final, Cubs 2-1: The game ended on a bang-bang play.
Dustin Pedroia, batting with Brock Holt at first base, hit a ground ball to the left side. Third baseman Luis Valbuena dived while making the play and fired a one-hopper to first base that was scooped by Anthony Rizzo. Pedroia was called out.
Red Sox manager John Farrell challenged the play, as it looked like the call could have gone either way. The initial call was confirmed, however, and the Red Sox suffered another devastating defeat.
The teams entered the ninth inning tied at one apiece. In an interesting twist, Koji Uehara faltered. Uehara surrendered a single to Rizzo and a double to Starlin Castro before Valbuena broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Red Sox’s offense again is to blame. The unit simply couldn’t come up with timely hits, and it spoiled a good effort from Clay Buchholz. Buchholz gave up one earned run on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out two, didn’t walk anyone and threw 100 pitches (61 strikes).
Mid 9th, Cubs 2-1: Koji Uehara shockingly surrendered a run in the ninth inning. The Red Sox now will come up down a tally.
Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro showed why they’re Chicago’s two best players. Rizzo led off with a single and Castro doubled.
Luis Valbuena gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead with a sacrifice fly to right field. Mookie Betts came up firing, but his throw was off the mark. Betts didn’t have much of a chance to throw out Rizzo.
Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt are due up in the bottom of the ninth inning for Boston.
End 8th, 1-1: Pedro Strop held down the Red Sox in the eighth inning. Both offenses — which aren’t very good — have struggled.
A.J. Pierzynski led off with a line drive to left field. Chris Coghlan raced back and reached up to make the grab just before the warning track.
Xander Bogaerts and Stephen Drew grounded out to the right side. Bogaerts, who is 0-for-4, now is 6 for his last 73.
Koji Uehara will pitch the ninth inning with the score still tied.
Mid 8th, 1-1: Solid inning for Junichi Tazawa.
Tazawa struck out Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan in a scoreless eighth. Ryan Sweeney grounded out to end the inning.
Both Barney and Coghlan went down swinging at splitters.
A.J. Pierzynski, Xander Bogaerts and Stephen Drew are due up for Boston in the bottom of the eighth inning. Koji Uehara is starting to get warm just in case Boston pushes across a run.
End 7th, 1-1: The Red Sox stranded a pair in the seventh inning.
Wesley Wright entered after six good innings from Edwin Jackson. He retired Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt.
Bradley struck out looking on a pitch on the outside corner. Holt hit a chopper to second base. Darwin Barney threw a missile to first to retire Holt, as it was a bang-bang play given the height of the chopper.
Neil Ramirez entered to face Dustin Pedroia. He allowed a single and then walked David Ortiz on four pitches that weren’t even close.
Mike Napoli grounded to third base to end the inning.
Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
Mid 7th, 1-1: Andrew Miller recorded two huge strikeouts to preserve the 1-1 tie.
Clay Buchholz, who pitched well, exited in the seventh inning with one out and runners at the corners.
Starlin Castro led off with a single, took second base on Luis Valbuena’s groundout and advanced to third when A.J. Pierzynski got crossed up on an 0-2 changeup from Buchholz.
Buchholz hit Welington Castillo. It marked Buchholz’s second hit batter of the game and also spelled the end of his night.
Miller entered and struck out Junior Lake. Lake struck out four times Monday but pinch-hit for Nate Schierholtz in the seventh.
Justin Ruggiano fanned on a slider from Miller to end the inning.
End 6th, 1-1: A.J. Pierzynski has reached base three times.
Pierzynski singled into right field to begin the inning. That’s where Boston’s threat ended.
Edwin Jackson struck out the struggling Xander Bogaerts for the first out. Stephen Drew and Mookie Betts flied out.
Mid 6th, 1-1: It didn’t take long for the Cubs to answer.
Justin Ruggiano lined a double over Mookie Betts’ head in right field to begin the sixth inning. He ended up scoring Chicago’s first run.
Darwin Barney singled into center field. Ruggiano stopped at third.
Chris Coghlan struck a sharp ground ball to the right of the second base bag. The ball deflected off Dustin Pedroia’s glove, but it ricocheted right over to Stephen Drew. Drew stepped on the bag and fired to first, though Coghlan beat the throw. Ruggiano scored.
Ryan Sweeney singled to put runners at the corners with one out for Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo, who arguably is Chicago’s best hitter, smoked a line drive right at Mike Napoli, who made the catch and stepped on first for an inning-ending double play.
End 5th, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox finally have a run in this series.
The Red Sox, who were blanked in Monday’s series opener, broke through with two outs in the fifth inning.
Jackie Bradley Jr. smacked a double off the left field wall, continuing the offensive strides he appeared to make on the Red Sox’s recent 10-game road trip.
Brock Holt followed with a single into left field. Bradley had no chance of scoring, so third base coach Brian Butterfield wisely threw up the stop sign.
Dustin Pedroia put Boston on the scoreboard with a line drive that deflected off shortstop Starlin Castro’s glove and into left field.
David Ortiz walked to load the bases for Mike Napoli. Edwin Jackson was able to escape the inning without any further damage inflicted because Castro ranged to his left to make a play and flip to second base for an inning-ending forceout.
Mid 5th, 0-0: Clay Buchholz looks good.
Buchholz spun another 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. He hasn’t allowed a baserunner since the first inning, when he surrendered a single and hit a batter. The right-hander has thrown 68 pitches (42 strikes).
Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo both put the ball on the ground in the fifth inning.
Nate Schierholtz, who hasn’t gotten cheated with his contact in this series, ripped a line drive right at Mike Napoli to end the inning.
End 4th, 0-0: Xander Bogaerts drilled a line drive in the fifth inning that looked destined to give the Red Sox the lead. Instead, center fielder Justin Ruggiano raced back to make a nice catch.
Dustin Pedroia led off with a chopper to third base. Luis Valbuena unsuccessfully attempted to barehand it and Pedroia reached safely.
David Ortiz grounded back to the mound and Mike Napoli struck out swinging. Pedroia took second base on Ortiz’s groundout.
The Cubs intentionally walked A.J. Pierzynski with first base open — another indication of how bad Bogaerts is struggling — and Bogaerts ended the inning despite making solid contact.
Mid 4th, 0-0: Clay Buchholz is rolling along.
Buchholz tossed a 1-2-3 fourth inning, inducing two groundouts and recording a strikeout.
Buchholz sat down Ryan Sweeney to begin the inning. Buchholz fell behind in the count 3-0 but battled back. Sweeney swung through a 3-2 cutter.
Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro grounded out to Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia, respectively.
End 3rd, 0-0: Both struggling pitchers have gotten off to good starts, as Edwin Jackson worked a 1-2-3 third inning.
Mookie Betts, who was batting when Stephen Drew got picked off first base, grounded to short. Jackie Bradley Jr. decided, “Hmm…that sounds good. I’ll have that.” He, too, grounded to Starlin Castro.
Brock Holt ended the inning with a line drive to right field. It hung up just long enough for Nate Schierholtz, who dived to make the play.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Clay Buchholz is pitching well early.
Justin Ruggiano, Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan went down in order in the third inning.
Ruggiano and Coghlan flied out to right field and center field, respectively. Barney sneaked in a groundout to short.
End 2nd, 0-0: Poor baserunning doomed the Red Sox in the second inning.
Mike Napoli led off with a walk. A.J. Pierzynski then planted a ball off the left field wall but was thrown out trying to take second base. The play wasn’t even close, and Pierzynski didn’t even bother sliding.
The Red Sox were unable to knock in Napoli from third base.
Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging. Stephen Drew, who walked with two outs, got picked off first base on a snap throw by catcher Welington Castillo to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Clay Buchholz breezed through a scoreless second inning.
Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo grounded out. Stephen Drew and Xander Bogaerts handled their business.
Nate Schierholtz, whose two-run homer was the difference Monday, threatened to send another ball into the Red Sox’s bullpen. Mookie Betts raced back onto the warning track to make the catch just in front of the right field wall.
End 1st, 0-0: Here we go again?
The Red Sox, who were no-hit until the eighth inning Monday, went down in order in the first inning against Edwin Jackson.
Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia grounded to second base and shortstop, respectively. David Ortiz ended the inning with a lazy fly ball to left.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Clay Buchholz used all of his pitches while working a scoreless first inning.
It wasn’t easy, as two hitters reached against Buchholz in the first inning. But the right-hander got the job done, touched 93-94 mph with his fastball and struck out Starlin Castro with his changeup — a pitch he hadn’t been using with regularity before landing on the DL.
Chris Coghlan led off with a single, after which Buchholz induced a double play. Stephen Drew and Dustin Pedroia combined for a very quick turn, as it looked initially like they wouldn’t have time to spin it.
Anthony Rizzo got plunked on the foot, but Castro swung through a changeup up around his eyes.
7:12 p.m.: Clay Buchholz wheels and deals. We’re underway at Fenway Park.
5:24 p.m.: The Red Sox made a flurry of roster moves Tuesday.
Left-hander Chris Capuano, who had been designated for assignment, officially was released. Left-hander Rich Hill was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations. First baseman/third baseman Michael Almanzar — a Rule 5 pick selected by the Baltimore Orioles — was returned to the Red Sox organization.
Will Middlebrooks, who was sidelined amid his minor league rehab assignment because of swelling in his fractured right index finger, will return to Pawtucket’s lineup Tuesday. His rehab clock will reset.
5:15 p.m.: The Red Sox will go with a very young outfield Tuesday.
Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts will play left, center and right, respectively. Betts played center field Monday with Bradley out of the starting lineup.
Tuesday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (38-45)
Brock Holt, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Mookie Betts, RF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Clay Buchholz, RHP (3-4, 6.75 ERA)
Chicago Cubs (35-46)
Chris Coghlan, LF
Ryan Sweeney, DH
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Starlin Castro, SS
Luis Valbuena, 3B
Welington Castillo, C
Nate Schierholtz, RF
Justin Ruggiano, CF
Darwin Barney, 2B
Edwin Jackson, RHP (5-8, 5.22 ERA)
5 p.m. ET: Clay Buchholz has had a terrible 2014 season. The right-hander took a big step forward in his first start off the disabled list last Wednesday, though, so there’s reason to be optimistic about his status going into Tuesday’s start against the Chicago Cubs.
Buchholz pitched into the eighth inning last Wednesday in his first major league start since May 26. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits while striking out two. It wasn’t a flashy performance — Buchholz struck out two and surrendered three home runs — but he didn’t walk anyone while throwing 76 pitches, so it’s hard to find too much fault in the outing when you consider how awful his season had been to that point.
Buchholz will face a fellow underachieving hurler Tuesday, as Edwin Jackson will take the ball for the Chicago Cubs. Jackson, who signed a four-year, $52 million contract over the offseason, enters with a 5-8 record and 5.22 ERA. The right-hander posted a 6.23 ERA in five June starts, so things aren’t exactly trending in the right direction, either.
The Red Sox’s offense was blanked by Jake Arrieta and Co. in Monday’s series opener. Arrieta had a no-hitter broken up with two outs in the eighth inning as the Sox failed to build on Sunday’s strong effort, in which they posted eight runs on 12 hits against the New York Yankees.
Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com.