Red Sox swept by Cubs in three game losing streak
BOSTON -- The last-place Chicago Cubs, who won two low-scoring games at Fenway Park on Monday and Tuesday nights, smacked four home runs and collected 19 hits in completing a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 16-9 victory on Wednesday night.
The sweep was the Cubbies' first three-gamer in interleague play since 2009 and their first on the road since 2007. The series win at Fenway, secured when Tuesday's 2-1 decision followed Monday's 2-0 win, is their first since 1915.
Center fielder Justin Ruggiano, third baseman Mike Olt, catcher Wellington Castillo and right fielder Nate Schierholtz all homered and light-hitting second baseman Darwin Barney delivered four hits as the Cubs moved to 24-19 in their last 43 games, 37-46 for the season.
Ruggiano, who came in with 10 RBIs for the season, drove in five and had three hits in the onslaught that was capped by a six-run ninth inning.
The Red Sox, matching their low point by falling nine games below .500 (38-47), had not allowed more than three runs in any of their previous 14 home games.
Two of the homers came off Boston starter Brandon Workman (1-2), who gave up three runs before getting an out and six over four innings in the marathon that ran 4:19.
Barney, hitting .196 coming in, had two singles, double and triple for the Cubs, who had scored six runs in their previous four games.
Everyone in the Chicago lineup had at least one hit.
Right-hander Carlos Villenueva (4-5) worked two innings in relief of starter Travis Wood for the win.
Rookie outfielder Mookie Betts, playing in his fourth big league game, hit his first major league homer, a two-run shot, for the Red Sox, who stranded nine runners in the first four innings (14 for the game).
Designated hitter David Ortiz had two ground-rule doubles and a sacrifice fly, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and right fielder Brock Holt both stroked three hits and first baseman Mike Napoli had two hits, two walks and an RBI for Boston.
Left fielder Jonny Gomes drove in two runs and pinch-hitter Daniel Nava came through with a two-run single in the three-run ninth.
Boston finished with 16 hits.
The Red Sox had bullpen action going after Workman threw just 16 pitches.
Left fielder Chris Coghlan led off with a walk and was on the move when Ruggiano drilled a 1-1 no-doubter to make it 2-0. First baseman Anthony Rizzo then walked and stole second before riding home on shortstop Starlin Castro's single. Castro also stole second, but Workman retired the next three hitters.
In the third, Pedroia led off with his second hit, and Ortiz sent him to third with a ground-rule double -- Ortiz becoming the 36th player in major league history with 1,000 extra-base hits. One out later, Gomes hit a sacrifice fly, but Wood worked around a walk and fanned catcher A.J. Pierzynski to strand two more runners.
With one out and one on in the fourth, Olt hammered his 11th homer of the season (on his 24th hit). Barney tripled on the next pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Coghlan.
Boston loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, and Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly. Wood threw seven straight balls before a called strike -- and the starter was gone when Gomes smashed an RBI single. Villenueva relieved and caught struggling third baseman Xander Bogaerts looking at a 2-2 pitch to strand three more.
Red Sox reliever Felix Doubront got the first two outs in the sixth, but third baseman Luis Valbuena singled and Castillo ripped a home run. Betts got the runs back in the bottom of the inning.
NOTES: Redsox.com reported the team signed two international pitching prospects -- 16-year-old Christopher Acosta and Anderson Espinoza. ... RHP Jason Hammel opens the Cubs' three-game series against the Nationals in Washington on Friday. Hammel is 7-0 with a 3.12 ERA lifetime against the Nats. ... Weather threatens the Red Sox ‘s matinee against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. LHP Jon Lester will be looking for his 10th win of the season. ... The Red Sox hope RF Shane Victorino will start taking batting practice today as he tries to make it back on the field. The veteran has been out since May 24 with hamstring and back problems. ... CF Junior Lake, mired in an 0-for-15 slump and 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in the series in Boston, was on the bench for the second straight night. He pinch-hit and struck out on three pitches Tuesday.