CHICAGO (CBS) — Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer, and Miguel Montero and Ben Zobrist had solo shots, helping the Chicago Cubs rebound from a series-opening loss with a 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
Kris Bryant had two hits and scored twice for Chicago, backing a decent start by former Red Sox righty John Lackey.
Lackey (2-3) gave up four runs in six innings, snapping his string of losses in three straight starts. He was part of Boston’s 2013 World Series title team.
Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi had solo homers for the Red Sox, who have the majors’ fewest homers.
Steven Wright (1-3) gave up five runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
With summer-like temperatures for the second straight day and a marquee matchup with the defending champs, there was added buzz around the ballpark hours before the game.
Mixed in the fans flocking around Fenway Park were numerous Cubs fans wearing jerseys — many with “Sandberg,” ”Bryant” or “Rizzo” on the back. There was a loud “Let’s Go Cubbies!” in the ninth.
The Cubs overcame a 4-2 deficit with a run in the sixth inning and three in a seventh that was highlighted by two errors on one play.
Zobrist’s run-scoring grounder sliced it to 4-3. Montero homered leading off the seventh against Wright before Kyle Schwarber’s RBI single pushed them ahead.
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts threw the ball away for an error on Rizzo’s fielder’s choice, allowing Schwarber to score. First baseman Mitch Moreland retrieved and fired it into left field.
Jackie Bradley Jr.’s RBI single made it 1-0 in the second.
Benintendi had a sacrifice fly and Ramirez belted his homer over the Green Monster seats completely out of Fenway, a shot estimated at 469 feet, in the third.
With all the hitters facing knuckleballer Wright for the first time, many had weak swings the first time up before Bryant opened the fourth with a hard single and Rizzo followed with his drive to the back of Chicago’s bullpen.
Benintendi hit his homer over Boston’s bullpen.
Red Sox: Ace LHP David Price, out since spring training with a strained left elbow, threw a two-inning simulated game before batting practice. “I know when he walked off he said he felt good,” manager John Farrell said. The plan is to have a bullpen Monday and another simulated Thursday.
Cubs president Theo Epstein brought Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball captain who was diagnosed with ALS five years ago and inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds for the disease, onto the field before the game. He also went to the clubhouse and brought Bryant and Rizzo with him after introducing manager Joe Maddon.
The Cubs hadn’t faced a knuckleballer since 2011.
That year, they lost to then-Boston RHP Tim Wakefield before beating R.A. Dickey — with Toronto at the time — four days later.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.50 ERA) is set to start Sunday night’s nationally televised finale with his first career start against Boston.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 3.12) is slated to make his first career start against the Cubs.
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