Originally posted on Fenway West  |  Last updated 6/18/12

The Sox were heading into the final game of the series with the Cubs with Franklin Morales on the mound since Josh Beckett had recently landed on the DL with a shoulder issue.  Many of us had no idea what to expect. How would he do as a starter?  How long would he be able to go?  Franklin Morales answered all those questions and really pleasantly surprised people. 

Morales was given an early lead when the Sox scored two runs in the 1st inning with an RBI double from Pedey and an RBI single from Papi.  Sox 2-0.  At first it looked like it might be a long night for Morales when he started the outing giving up a double to Johnson and then an RBI triple to Castro with only one out.  However, Morales was able to get out of the inning without allowing Castro to score by striking out Soriano and then getting Baker to ground out.  Sox 2-1.  Not bad Franklin, not bad!  In the 3rd, with 2 outs Morales gave up a single to Barney and then Castro hit a play that looked like a pop up that Dustin Pedroia was going to handle, however the ball went in and out of his glove.  The official scorers said it was a hit, but I disagree.  If that isn't an error, I don't know what is.  Luckily for Morales, the Sox got him the lead right back with a solo HR from David Ortiz.  Morales was just being stretched out lately by the Sox and ended up going 5 strong innings.  He looked really fantastic.  Morales threw 80 pitches, 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB and NINE Ks and he left the game with a chance for a win. 

Photo Credit: David Banks/Getty Images

Unfortunately the Sox defense would take that chance away from Morales.  Matt Albers took the mound and had to deal with a circus of errors behind him to get out of the inning.  First Barney reached first on a throwing error from Youkilis.  Then Castro hit a single right in front of the plate where neither Albers or Shoppy could get to it.  2 on, no one out.  Albers got Soriano to forceout for the first out of the inning.  There were runners at 1st and 3rd and Matt Albers got the double play ball he needed, however when he made the throw to 2nd base, both Aviles and Pedey moved in on it and neither got it.  An error on Aviles and Barney scored to tie the game.  Ugh.  Albers was able to get the final two outs and get out of the inning with the game tied. 

Luckily for the Sox, the Cubs had the error bug as well.  In the 7th, DMac lead off the inning with a double and was followed by Salty with a pinch hit single.  Salty was able to go to 2nd on a bad throw back from the Cubs.  Sox had two runners on and no outs.  Ryan Kalish was at the plate and it didn't take him long to get his first RBI since being back with the Sox. Kalish hit an RBI single to score DMac.  Sox 4-3.  Middlebrooks came in to pinch hit for the pitcher and hit an RBI sac fly.  Sox 5-3.  Kalish was able to go to 3rd on a throwing error from the Cubbies.  Nava hit a perfect sac bunt to score Kalish.  Sox 6-3.  All in all, it was a good inning for the Sox and not so much for the Cubs.  The Sox scored their final run in the 8th with a sac RBI groundout from Salty to score Papi.  Sox 7-3.

The Sox bullpen worked the rest of the game.  Andrew Miller came in during the bottom of the 7th and immediately gave up a walk.  One of Miller's real issues is when he is not able to command and ends up walking people.  In his last two outings, he is starting to show those bad habits again.  Fortunately for Miller that walk was erased when Valbuena tried to take 2nd and Salty threw him out.  Miller got DeJesus to fly out for the 2nd out of the inning.  Bobby V came out for Miller and replaced him with Mark Melancon.  Melancon hit Reed with a pitch and then got Barney to ground out to end the inning.   The 8th inning was pitched by Scott Atchison and as per usual, he had himself a nice 1-2-3 inning.  Alfredo Aceves was out for the Sox in the 9th even though it wasn't a save situation.  However, before long Aceves would make it feel like a save situation.  Aceves gave up three singles in a row and had the bases loaded.  Bobby V went out to the mound and had a little conversation with Aceves.  The Cubs got one run on an RBI sac fly from DeJesus.  Sox 7-4.  Aceves K'ed Johnson for the second out and then got the third and final out when Barney popped up.  Phew.  That was closer than it needed to be. 

Red Sox won the series and are headed home.  Phew. 

 

Red Sox 7 Cubs 4 BOXSCORE

WP: Albers (2-0)   LP: S. Camp (2-4)

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