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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Salty, Lester Lead Red Sox Past Cubs

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 16: Jarrod Saltalamacchia #...
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 16: Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox gets congratulated by David Ortiz #34 after hitting a two-run homer against the Chicago Cubs in the fourth inning on June 16, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Jon Lester put together a quality start, Jarrod Saltalamacchia blasted his 12th homer of the season and the Red Sox were able to piece together a win at Wrigley Field against Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs.

In each of the first five innings, Jon Lester allowed just one base runner to reach, but the lefty started to get in trouble in the sixth when he allowed a pair of singles to Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro.

He got out of the sixth unscathed but one pitch in the seventh changed his line completely. Jeff Baker led off the inning with a double and Wellington Castillo walked with 1 out to bring up Luis Valbuena who sent Lester's fastball into the left field bleachers for a 3-run homer. The Sox number one starter finished the night with 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K.

Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija lasted 5 1/3, giving up 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, with 7 K, but one of those hits was a big 2-run homer from Jarrod Saltalamacchia to put Boston up 2-0 in the fourth inning.

Will Middlebrooks drove in a run for the Sox in the sixth. After the Cubs starter walked David Ortiz and Salty to lead off the inning, Randy Wells replaced him and gave the RBI single to the rookie third baseman.

The run that proved to be the decisive one came in the top of the seventh. With Wells still pitching, Mike Aviles led off with a double, Jon Lester struck out and Scott Podsednik singled to drive in the fourth Red Sox run.

Vicente Padilla and Alfredo Aceves were perhaps the most important part of this game. The pair put up two perfect innings to secure the one run lead Lester left with and get the Red Sox a much needed win against the worst team in baseball.

Franklin Morales will start in place of injured starter Josh Beckett Sunday night, with hopes of keeping the Sox in the game and taking the series from Theo Epstein and the Cubs. Opposing the lefty will be Paul Maholm.

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