The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are Major League Baseball’s featured attraction during its first weekend of interleague action at Fenway Park
Chicago Cubs at Boston Red Sox
Chicago allowed a season-high 15 runs and 19 hits in Friday night’s loss that ruined a special night in returning to Boston for the first time since the 1918 World Series. “That put an end to my enthusiasm for this wonderful, momentous occasion,” Cubs manager Mike Quade stated. “We’ve said it all day, it’s an interesting series, but it’s about winning the series.” The Cubs are 98-108 all-time in their 16 interleague seasons against American League foes, including an 8-10 mark last year. Chicago last won a regular season game at Fenway Park on May 24, 1915. The club is 12-19 versus right-handed starters this season.
Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano is 4-2 with a 4.89 ERA in nine starts this season. The right-hander has enjoyed success away from Wrigley Field, posting a 4-1 record and 5.23 ERA in five road outings. Zambrano has been roughed up a bit in his last two appearances, surrendering 10 runs and 14 hits over 12 1/3 frames versus the Cardinals and Reds. His only career start against the Red Sox came on June 11, 2005 at Wrigley Field, not factoring in the decision while yielding four runs on five hits over five innings. During 26 interleague games (22 starts), he has compiled an even 8-8 record and 4.82 ERA.
Boston crushed Chicago 15-5 on Friday night and plated more than nine runs for the first time this year. The Red Sox have registered an impressive 22-10 record since losing 10 of their first 12 games. “That’s where we want to be,” said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “We know we’ve got a great team.” All of its recent success has led the club to win a season-high seven straight home games, ranking second in the league with a .274 batting average and .353 on-base percentage at Fenway Park. The series opener displayed the power of the Red Sox lineup, a unit that led the Majors with 109 runs scored during interleague play last year. Boston is 17-13 versus right-handed starters this year.
Red Sox starting pitcher Alfredo Aceves will be making his sixth career start Saturday and first since a spot start on June 9, 2009 as a member the New York Yankees at Minnesota. The right-hander has appeared in relief 11 times this year, surrendering five earned runs and giving up 12 hits in 17 1/3 innings. Aceves will be toeing the rubber at Fenway Park for the ninth time, producing a 1-0 record and 2.81 ERA. Saturday will mark his first career outing against the Cubs.
Bettors will be interested in backing the Red Sox due to their 46-11 record during interleague play against right-handed starters, while the Cubs are 1-4 in Zambrano’s last five outings versus American League foes.