Chicago Cubs Recap: Offense comes through late to even Boston series
By Jake Misener
The Chicago Cubs offense backed starter John Lackey, taking a late lead to even the weekend series with the Boston Red Sox at one game apiece.
A Miguel Montero game-tying home run and Kyle Schwarber RBI single in the seventh paved the way for a Chicago Cubs’ 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox Saturday at Fenway Park.
Leading off against Boston starter Steven Wright, Montero clobbered a pitch into the right-field seats for his second homer of the year. After Albert Almora popped out, Jon Jay doubled into the left field corner, ending Wright’s day on the mound.
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Reliever Robby Scott entered to face the Cubs’ struggling leadoff hitter Schwarber. Down 0-2 in the count, he blooped a ball into center, allowing Jay to score from second and giving Chicago its first lead of the series.
After another pitching change, Kris Bryant drew a one-out walk, putting two men on for Anthony Rizzo, who hit a towering blast earlier in the afternoon. This is where things got interesting.
Crazy play leads to insurance run
Rizzo grounded a ball hard to first base. Boston first baseman Mitch Moreland tossed to Xander Bogaerts for a force out of Bryant. Bogaerts then went to turn the double play, but threw the ball away, allowing Schwarber to score an insurance run on the play.
Chicago (13-10) scored once in the preceding sixth inning before finally working their way out of what was once a 3-0 disadvantage. Once again, veteran right-hander John Lackey gutted his way through his start – against a team he won a title with back in 2013.
Lackey gets through six eventful innings
Over six innings, Lackey limited the Boston offense to four runs – but repeatedly missed with his pitches. He certainly didn’t miss many bats, serving up eight hits, including a pair of long-balls.
Boston (12-11) opened the scoring early in the bottom of the second inning against Lackey on a Jackie Bradley Jr. RBI single. Andrew Benintendi delivered a sac fly in the third before Hanley Ramirez drove an offering over the Green Monster to make it 3-0.
Wade Davis nailed the door in the ninth to preserve the win for Lackey with a scoreless frame.
Rizzo stays hot
Prior to his circus play in the seventh at the dish, Rizzo took a knuckleball from Wright deep for his sixth homer of the year.
The Chicago first baseman has hit five of his six long-balls on this road trip. He’s definitely showing signs of heating up as April draws to a close. He leads the club in both homers and runs batted in.
Next: Cubs' offense has left a lot of men on early this season
Boston and Chicago conclude the three-game series at Fenway on Sunday night.
Reigning NL Cy Young finalist Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.50 ERA) squares off against left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 3.12 ERA). The tilt is ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball game and can be heard on WSCR 670 AM, as well.
First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. CT.