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Sox edge Cubs, 4-3
CHICAGO -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia made his debut in the cleanup spot count with a two-run homer and Jon Lester pitched well as visiting Boston evened the series with Chicago with a 4-3 win on Saturday.
Will Middlebrooks and Scott Podsednik each drove in a run for the Red Sox, who won for just the fourth time in the last 12 games.
With the Boston offense slumping, manager Bobby Valentine used his seventh different cleanup hitter of the season in Saltalamacchia, who responded by going 2-for-3 with a double and his 12th home run. Saltalamacchia gave Lester some support in the fourth, driving a 1-2 splitter out to right for a 2-0 lead.
Lester (4-4) was charged with three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings while striking out eight and walking one to snap a four-start winless streak.
Two relievers bridged the gap to Alfredo Aceves, who worked the ninth for his 16th save.
The Red Sox chased Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija (5-5) in the sixth and Middlebrooks greeted Randy Wells with an RBI single to center. Podsednik made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the seventh.
Lester ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff double to Jeff Baker and issuing his first walk of the night two batters later. Luis Valbuena followed a visit to the mound and sent his first home run of the season - an opposite field blast - out to left to pull Chicago within 4-3.
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GAME NOTEBOOK: The Red Sox on Saturday placed RH Josh Beckett on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his shoulder and recalled RH Clayton Mortensen from Class AAA Pawtucket. ... Podsednik went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .411. He has hit safely in 13 of 15 games since joining Boston. ... Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano was booed by the home fans after failing to run out a ball that was dropped by Middlebrooks at third.
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