How it happened: Luis Valbuena hit a sacrifice fly to score Anthony Rizzo in the top of the ninth inning with the winning run off Red Sox closer Koji Uehara. Rizzo opened the inning with a single and Starlin Castro doubled him to third before Valbuena hit a 3-2 pitch to right. The Red Sox got on the board in the bottom of the fifth as Dustin Pedroia got the third consecutive two-out hit, bringing home Jackie Bradley Jr. But the Cubs quickly tied it on a fielder’s choice by Chris Coghlan, plating Justin Ruggiano, who had doubled to open the top of the sixth inning. Both starting pitchers, Edwin Jackson and Clay Buchholz, were good in the early innings before getting into jams, but both avoided worse damage than the one run each gave up. Jackson went six, giving up six hits and four walks. Hector Rondon earned his second save in as many nights.
Key moment: The Cubs had a chance to take the lead in the top of the seventh inning when manager Rick Renteria pinch hit Junior Lake for outfielder Nate Schierholtz against lefty reliever Andrew Miller with men on first and third and one out in a 1-1 game. Lake struck out four times on Monday, and coming into the game had 86 for the season. He has 88 now after striking out on three pitches and then again on three in the ninth as runners in both innings were stranded at third. Luckily, the Cubs went on to win the game.
What it means: Jackson picked up where Jake Arrieta left off, keeping Boston off the scoreboard until a fifth-inning, two-out hiccup. But he got out of it with only one run crossing the plate and in doing so brought his ERA under 5.00 (4.99). It wasn’t as easy as Arrieta's outing, but the Red Sox really had only the one rally.
Cubs pitchers have limited Boston to one run over the first 18 innings of the series.
Renteria made a curious decision in sending Lake to the plate in a contact situation. Even though a lefty came into the game, Schierholtz might have been the better option. Or even pitcher Travis Wood. His other right-handed choice? Mike Olt. He’s not much better in the contact department.
Bonifacio update: Ailing infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio is rehabbing a strained oblique at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona. There’s no timetable for his return or when he’ll head out on an assignment in the minor leagues.
What’s next: The Cubs go for the sweep on Wednesday night when Travis Wood (7-6, 4.52) faces Brandon Workman (1-1, 3.27).