Franklin Morales and Ryan Kalish provided a much-needed lift for the injured Boston Red Sox.
Morales struck out a career-high nine and Kalish hit a tie-breaking single in the seventh inning to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night.
“That’s what baseball’s been for years,” Kalish said. “People getting hurt and people stepping up. That’s just the name of this game.”
Kalish hadn’t played in a Major League game since October 3, 2010, but was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game when Ryan Sweeney went on the disabled list (irritation in a bone in his left foot). Kalish stepped to the plate with the game tied 3-3 and runners at first and third and delivered a single to center.
“Got a chance in a big situation, kind of got over anxious at first,” he said. “I just stepped out, told myself this is baseball, I’ve been here before.”
Morales, starting in place of the injured Josh Beckett (right shoulder inflammation), gave up two runs and four hits in five innings in his first start since April 21, 2009, with Colorado.
“We had a hunch he could perform well in that situation and he proved our hunch correct,” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. “He pitched five pretty good innings.”
“The confidence I have and the opportunity Bobby (Valentine) gave me, I tried to throw strikes,” said Morales.
The Red Sox rallied in the seventh against Shawn Camp (2-4), who gave up hits to both batters he faced – a double to Darnell McDonald and single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Kalish then singled to center off James Russell to drive in McDonald and put the Red Sox ahead 4-3. Saltalamacchia scored on pinch-hitter Will Middlebrooks’ sacrifice fly, with Kalish advancing to third on catcher Wellington Castillo’s fielding error. Kalish then scored on Daniel Nanva’s squeeze bunt to give the Red Sox a 6-3 lead.
Matt Albers (2-0) pitched a scoreless sixth to pick up the win.
The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs against Alfredo Aceves in the ninth, but after David DeJesus hit a sacrifice fly to center, Reed Johnson struck out and Darwin Barney hit a popped out to third to end the game.
The Red Sox continued to be bit by the injury bug Sunday.
Nava entered the game in the sixth inning in place of Scott Podsednik, who left with left groin discomfort. Kevin Youkilis was forced from game in the eighth after he was stepped on.
Valentine said neither player’s injury appears serious.
David Ortiz hit his 16th home run of the season in the fourth inning off Cubs starter Paul Maholm to the left-center field bleachers, giving Boston a 3-2 lead.
The Cubs tied it in the bottom of the sixth when, with runners on first and third, Jeff Baker hit a comebacker to Albers, who turned and fired to second, where both Pedroia and shortstop Mike Aviles converged at the bag simultaneously. Aviles dropped the ball and was charged with an error.
Barney, who had reached on an error by third baseman Kevin Youkilis to open the inning, scored.
Dustin Pedroia, mired in a 6-for-45 slump, had two hits for the Red Sox.
Pedroia’s double to the gap in left-center in the first drove in Podsednik, and Pedroia scored on Ortiz’s one-out single to put Boston up 2-0.
Starlin Castro, who had three hits and two RBIs to end a 2-for 21 slide, got the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI triple.
The Cubs, who have lost 24 of their last 31, tied it in the second as Pedroia misplayed Castro’s popup with two outs in the third, allowing a hustling Barney to score all the way from first base as the play was ruled a double.
The Red Sox added a run in the eighth on Saltalamacchia’s RBI grounder.
NOTES: Red Sox 1B Adrian Gonzalez was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season. He struck out as a pinch-hitter the ninth. … Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the team will likely activate C Geovany Soto from the 15-day DL on Monday before the series opener against the White Sox. … C Koyie Hill was released by the Cubs on Sunday after declining an assignment to Triple-A Iowa after clearing waivers. … RHP Matt Garza (2-5, 4.04 ERA) will pitch Monday for the Cubs. … The Red Sox are off on Monday and Clay Buchholz (7-2, 5.38) will take the hill on Tuesday at home against the Miami Marlins.