Chicago Cubs' Reed Johnson, left, scores past Boston Red Sox's Jason Varitek on a double by the Cubs' Jeff Baker in the eighth inning.
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.
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.
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.