Red Sox

Red Sox Defense, Bullpen Fall Apart In 9-3 Loss To Cubs

By Howard Ulman, AP Sports Writer
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Reed Johnson #5 of the Chicago Cubs gets past Jason Varitek #33 of the Boston Red Sox to score in the eighth inning on May 21, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Tonight the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox are wearing replica uniforms from 1918. Before this series, the two teams haven't played at Fenway Park since the 1918 World Series. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Reed Johnson #5 of the Chicago Cubs gets past Jason Varitek #33 of the Boston Red Sox to score in the eighth inning on May 21, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Tonight the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox are wearing replica uniforms from 1918. Before this series, the two teams haven’t played at Fenway Park since the 1918 World Series. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Red Sox should just throw away those throwback uniforms. And they should toss the tape of the eighth inning along with them.

Three Boston errors were the low points of an eight-run Chicago eighth inning as the Red Sox fell 9-3 to the Cubs on Saturday
night.

“It got a little bit ugly,” Boston manager Terry Francona said after his team’s 3-1 lead was wiped away.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller spoke to Francona after the game:

On one play during the inning, the Red Sox, wearing their 1918 throwbacks, threw the ball around it seemed like 19 or 18 times.

After the Cubs had taken a 6-3 lead in the eighth, Boston had Alfonso Soriano caught in a run down between third and home after a
fly ball to right. Catcher Jason Varitek caught the ball from right fielder J. D. Drew and threw to third, but it trickled into left
off Kevin Youkilis’ glove.

Soriano raced home and Jeff Baker, who had doubled on the play, came home when Carl Crawford’s wild throw rolled under the glove of reliever Franklin Morales, covering the plate, and past first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who was backing up, to make it 8-3.

Youkilis and Crawford were charged with errors on the play.

Earlier in the inning, shortstop Jed Lowrie dropped a short pop up, allowing a run to score.

Reed Johnson’s go-ahead, two-run double keyed the big inning against Matt Albers (0-2), who didn’t retire a batter, giving up
six runs and walking a pair in the eighth.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller spoke to Albers after the game:

So much for the new — or, old — look. The loss snapped Boston’s season-high, seven-game winning streak.

“You give up a lead and it’s always frustrating,” Lowrie said. “We just had a bad inning got to forget.”

The Cubs’ last visit to 99-year-old Fenway Park before Friday night’s 15-5 loss was in the World Series 93 years ago. Chicago won the fifth game then, but Boston took the championship by winning Game 6.

The Red Sox had victory in sight again on Saturday before the eighth.

Johnson had entered the game as a pinch runner in the top of the second after Marlon Byrd was beaned. Byrd walked off under his own power.

The Red Sox spent about four hours in first place in the AL East when Tampa Bay lost to Florida 5-3. Their first stay at the top this season marked a stunning turnaround for a team that began the season at 2-10.

Then came the wild turn of events in the eighth that ended Boston’s winning streak.

Before then, Aramis Ramirez had given Chicago a 1-0 lead in the third with an RBI double. Boston went ahead on David Ortiz’s
two-run homer, his ninth of the year, after Youkilis led off the fourth with a single. Jacoby Ellsbury’s run-scoring single made it 3-1 in the sixth against Carlos Zambrano before Sean Marshall (2-0) came in to end the inning.

In came Albers, out went the lead.

Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro singled and Ramirez walked, loading the bases. Carlos Pena then walked in a run before Johnson doubled to left, putting the Cubs ahead to stay. Soriano followed with a popup to short left field where shortstop Lowrie let it bounce off his glove for an error as Pena scored.

Morales, obtained Thursday from Colorado, relieved Albers and his first pitch went for an RBI double by pinch-hitter Baker. Koyie
Hill struck out and Barney flew to right, where Drew’s catch was only the beginning of the bizarre play that made it 8-3.

Castro followed with an RBI double, making it 9-3.

The Red Sox throwback uniforms were an off-white color with no team name on the front. The Cubs wore grey uniforms with blue
pinstripes and the word “Cubs” on the left breast.

NOTES: RHP Matt Garza was scratched from his scheduled start in Sunday’s series finale with stiffness in his pitching elbow. Cubs manager Mike Quade indicated that lefty reliever James Russell was the leading candidate to start against Tim Wakefield. … Youkilis was hit by a pitch for the 72nd time, breaking a tie with Mo Vaughn for the Red Sox record. … Ortiz’s homer made him the fifth player to hit at least 300 with the Red Sox. The others are Ted Williams (521), Carl Yastrzemski (452), Jim Rice (382) and Dwight Evans (379). … Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks is expected to throw his first bullpen session on Monday since going on the disabled list May 5 with a strained right biceps.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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