The Boston Red Sox won the series finale of their three-game set against the Chicago Cubs, 4-2, at Wrigley Field on Sunday.
Boston improved to 44-35 on the season, while Chicago fell to 32-47.
You can view the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
While it might sound early, the Red Sox could not afford to get swept by the Cubs amid a tight American League East race with 14 consecutive games against the rival New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays on deck.
After a near-perfect month, July has not been so kind to Boston. Still, Connor Seabold fought hard in his four innings of work despite lacking his best stuff, and the Red Sox found a way to win even after losing the lead in the eighth inning on a home run allowed by Matt Strahm. What made the win more improbable was the offense being unable to muster any extra-base hits in 11 innings.
The Red Sox scored their first run with a Franchy Cordero popup single that frankly should have been ruled an error after clanking off the glove of Cubs first baseman Alfonso Rivas. Boston gained the lead with a bases-loaded walk from Jarren Duran. To take the lead in the 11th inning, Bobby Dalbec and Christian Arroyo scored on an error by Cubs pitcher Rowan Wick.
The offense did not come to play all series, but they did take advantage of every mistake the middling Cubbies made, and the bullpen did enough in the clutch.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Hirokazu Sawamura held a tight one-run lead for the fifth and sixth innings, and bridged the gap from Seabold to the high-leverage relievers. He allowed a pair of hits and recorded as many strikeouts in two scoreless innings. He now has a 2.45 ERA on the season after a tough start.
— Jake Diekman followed suit in extra innings, stifling the Cubs for two scoreless innings. He finished with no hits allowed, a walk and four strikeouts.
— Duran recorded a hit, but his best at-bat was a bases-loaded walk to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
Seabold had -150 odds to hit the Under of 4.5 strikeouts against the Cubs on DraftKings Sportsbook. He was just under the total, with four, meaning a $150 bet against the right-hander paid out $100.
ON DECK AT NESN
The Red Sox will return to Fenway Park on Monday to kick off a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET following an hour of pregame coverage, and you can watch it all on NESN.