Cubs Rout Red Sox to Complete Sweep at Fenway
BOSTON — Manager Rick Renteria didn’t seem to mind that the Cubs had scored two runs or fewer in their past four games.
This hasn’t occurred since July 20-23, 2012, and Renteria appeared content to lean on a pitching staff that has limited Boston to one run in two games.
“Our pitching has kept us in every ball game,” Renteria said before Wednesday night’s game. “It’s hard to deny the effectiveness they’ve had and in the impact they’ve had on us in the past five to six weeks.”
The offense, however, finally stepped up in a stunning manner.
Thanks to a 19-hit attack that featured four home runs and a six-run ninth-inning rally, the Cubs rolled to a 16-9 win that took four hours, 19 minutes and completed a three-game sweep.
The four home runs were a season high, and the Cubs fell one run and one hit short of equaling their season highs in those categories that were accomplished in a 17-5 win at St. Louis on May 12.
Justin Ruggiano fueled a three-run first inning with a two-run home run off Brandon Workman and finished with a career-high five RBIs. Mike Olt smacked a two-run home run during a three-run fourth and had his first two-hit game since May 12. Welington Castillo hit a two-run homer and Nate Schierholtz hit a solo shot in the eighth as the Cubs earn their first three-game road sweep since July 26-28, 2013, at San Francisco.
Olt’s home run snapped an 0-for-13 skid, and his home run was his first since June 14. Olt hit a double and scored on a single by Ruggiano in the sixth.
Castillo’s homer off reliever Felix Doubront was his first since May 18 off Marco Estrada.
Darwin Barney collected four hits.
The Cubs’ offensive breakout overshadowed the struggles of Travis Wood, who walked four and was pulled after only 3 2/3 innings.
Wood was staked to a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth but allowed two runs on a sacrifice fly by David Ortiz and a bases-loaded single to Jonny Gomes that prompted manager Rick Renteria to pull Wood.
Reliever Carlos Villanueva threw a called third strike past Xander Bogaerts with the bases loaded to end the rally.
The Red Sox stranded at least two runners in each of the first four innings.
The Cubs earned their first series sweep at Fenway Park since taking four games against the Boston Braves on May 20-24, 1915.