The Boston Red Sox looked frustrated for much of Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park, but their fortunes turned around late in the game.
Boston took an early two-run lead but was silent for much of the night against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, and the Cubs tied the game in the seventh inning against the Red Sox’s bullpen. However, the Sox returned the favor in the bottom of the eighth when they struck for four runs off the tandem of Koji Uehara and Pedro Strop en route to a 6-2 victory.
The Red Sox improved to 13-11 with the win, while the Cubs fell to 13-11 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox blew an early two-run lead and collected only one hit between the second and seventh inning, but they mixed timely hitting and a little luck to score four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn the win.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
The Red Sox scored four runs in the eighth inning to break the tie.
Boston loaded the bases with no outs and got its first run of the inning on a wild pitch to take the lead. Mitch Moreland drove in the next run with an RBI groundout, and the Red Sox would get the final two runs on a throwing error by Cubs shortstop Addison Russell.
ON THE BUMP
— Eduardo Rodriguez was stellar over six strong innings as the left-hander allowed one run on five hits while striking out nine and walking two.
Rodriguez struck out the side in the third and fourth innings. He recorded 16 swings-and-misses, including nine on his changeup.
The Cubs got to Rodriguez for the first time in the top of the fifth inning. Kris Bryant looked baffled in his first two at-bats against the Red Sox left-hander but he didn’t during his third trip to the plate. Rodriguez tried to sneak a 93 mph fastball by the reigning National League MVP, but Bryant crushed it to dead center field to cut the Red Sox’s lead to one.
— Joe Kelly took over for Rodriguez in the seventh inning trying to protect a one-run lead. The hard-throwing right-hander put himself in a bind by issuing back-to-back walks to Jon Jay and Kyle Schwarber in front of Bryant.
Kelly spiked a 2-2 slider to Bryant that got away from catcher Christian Vazquez. The Red Sox catcher had trouble locating the ball, which allowed Jay to race all the way around from second to tie the game.
— Robby Scott relieved Kelly with two outs and a runner on second in the seventh inning. Scott induced a ground ball off the bat of Anthony Rizzo to keep the game tied.
— Matt Barnes, taking the hill in the first game back from his four-game suspension, worked a perfect 1-2-3 eighth inning.
— Craig Kimbrel worked an easy ninth inning to close out the win.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Hanley Ramirez stepped to the plate with a runner on first with two outs. Hendricks threw a fastball that stayed up in the zone, and Ramirez blasted it over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox an early two-run lead.
— Boston was held to one hit between the second and seventh inning, but the offense started to come alive in the eighth against Uehara.
The Red Sox began the inning with three straight singles to load the bases in front of Mookie Betts. The Cubs lifted Uehara for Strop to try and wiggle out of the jam.
The powerful right-hander struck out Betts on a nasty slider to get the first out of the inning.
Strop then got ahead of Ramirez 1-2, but he buried a slider in the dirt and it trickled away from catcher Willson Contreras, allowing Marco Hernandez to scoot home to give the Red Sox a one-run lead.
After Ramirez walked, Moreland drove in a run with an RBI groundout. The Red Sox got two more runs when Dustin Pedroia hit a ground ball to Russell. The shortstop fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw was low and bounced off the glove of Rizzo, allowing two runs to score and stretching Boston’s lead to four.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Baseball is a frustrating game.
The Red Sox will welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Fenway Park for a four-game series beginning Monday. Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston and he’ll be opposed by Dylan Bundy. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images