Five-run first carries Red Sox past Cubs
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[April 29, 2017]
BOSTON -- High drama at Fenway
"It was a great atmosphere tonight," Boston manager John Farrell
said after Craig Kimbrel struck out Addison Russell with the tying
run on second, ending the game with his third strikeout of the
inning as the Red Sox held on for a 5-4 interleague victory over the
Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
"The buildup to this weekend kind of speaks for itself," Farrell
said. "But given the way that game went, they're chipping away,
getting their way back into this ballgame. Two strikeouts -- he's
facing the heart of that order, which is explosive ... just a great
atmosphere for it being a game in late April. Craig was
The slumbering Red Sox erupted for five runs off Jake Arrieta in the
first inning and didn't score again in a game that contained 24
hits, 24 strikeouts, three homers and all kinds of excitement.
On a night that featured the return to Boston of Chicago general
manager Theo Epstein and former Red Sox pitchers Jon Lester, John
Lackey and Koji Uehara, rookie Andrew Benintendi homered to start
the five-run assault against Arrieta (3-1).
Arrieta, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his last
start at Fenway, in 2014, lasted 4 1/3 innings and saw his 10-game
April winning streak snapped.
Kris Bryant homered off winner Drew Pomeranz (2-1) in the first and
Albert Almora hit another in the third. The Boston bullpen, a bit of
a mix and match with Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith hurt and Matt
Barnes suspended, patched things together over the final three
While Kimbrel pitched around Ben Zobrist's two-out double, another
hero out of the pen was left-hander Fernando Abad. Earlier in the
day, the Red Sox (12-10) surprised some people by sending Robbie
Ross Jr. to the minors and keeping Abad. All Abad did was strike out
out two straight hitter to end the eighth with two men on.
"Two key strikeouts at a pivotal point in the game," Farrell said.
And then came Kimbrel.
"Kimbrel has been Craig," Farrell said. "He's been overpowering.
Kimbrel struck out Bryant and Anthony Rizzo before Zobrist's
two-strike double. Then, with the rival fans, including a large Cubs
contingent, trying to outscream each other, Kimbrel blew Russell
away as the Cubs fell to 12-10.
"How many times have you seen that game this year? We've played that
game almost every night," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Once we
start getting that big hit, it's going to turn in a good way.
Continue to play until the last out once again.
"I've said this several times already this year, Jake had a hard
time early, settled in, got through it. Our bullpen was outstanding.
We did a lot of really good things tonight, some really good
at-bats, but we came up one out short."
It was the second straight start that saw Arrieta allow at least
four runs in the first inning, a career first for the right-hander.
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Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) hits an RBI single during the
seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Pomeranz struck out seven in his second win in his
last three starts.
"Pomeranz did a great job with (the lead) -- he took the ball and
ran," said Boston's Mitch Moreland, who doubled home a run and
scored in the first. "Kind of carried us the rest of the way. The
bullpen came in and stepped up for us and it was a good win."
Boston had scored 13 runs and been shut out three times in the
previous seven games before scoring the five in the first.
The Red Sox came in 5-for-44 with runners in scoring position and
with only seven first-inning runs this season. Both were quickly
taken care of as the home team came through on its first four
chances with runners in scoring position in the first.
Boston went 0-for-6 in clutch spots after that. The Cubs stranded
nine, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"None of this double-digit left-on-base stuff," Maddon said. "We've
got to start moving runners across the plate. We've got them out
there and the right guys coming up, but we're not doing that with
NOTES: The Red Sox recalled RHP Ben Wright and activated utility man
Chase d'Arnaud and optioned LHP Robbie Ross Jr. and OF/1B Steve
Selsky to Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Former Red Sox LHP Jon Lester
visited with several ex-teammates on the field before the game. He
and former GM Theo Epstein, the architect of both storied franchises
finally winning a World Series, met the media. Lester brought out
the Cubs lineup card and he and RHP Koji Uehara received a video
tribute in the second inning. ... Former Boston RHP John Lackey,
also part of the video tribute, goes for Chicago against RHP Steven
Wright Saturday, both trying to overcome shaky starts to 2017. ...
Red Sox INF/OF Brock Holt, on the disabled list with vertigo,
started a rehab at Pawtucket. ... Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio is
missing the series for a personal matter. ... Ex-Red Sox and Cubs P
Ryan Dempster threw out the first pitch. ... Fans can pose for
pictures of World Series trophies of both teams before Sunday
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