Russell shows guts but Cubs fall to BoSox
BOSTON -- Left-hander James Russell gave the Cubs a credible four innings Sunday, allowing three runs while keeping his team in the game.
Russell, an emergency starter for injured right-hander Matt Garza, threw 57 pitches in four-plus innings after throwing three innings on Friday.
“I felt great,” Russell said. “I was able to start using some different pitches out there. Unfortunately, [Tim] Wakefield had that nasty knuckleball working today.”
The Cubs were dominated by the 44-year-old knuckleballer, who gave up just four hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings. His domination was unexpected; Wakefield hadn’t pitched since May 11 and was inserted into the rotation due to injuries to John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Even though the Cubs lost, they were all happy to see injured outfielder Marlon Byrd return to the locker room late Sunday afternoon. Byrd, who was hit in the eye by Boston right-hander Alfredo Aceves on Saturday, will seek treatment for his injuries to his eye and fractures to his face early next week.
“As long as I can see and I have no brain damage, I’m blessed,” Byrd said.
Aceves has been trying to contact Byrd after the injury.
“I haven’t talked to him, but I know it wasn’t intentional,” Byrd said. “That’s a part of the game. [Esteves is] 6-feet-6-inches, it doesn’t always go where you want it to.”
Byrd said there was no time table for his return right now. Doctors will determine his treatment as well as his road back to playing baseball.
The Cubs ended their seven-game road trip with a 3-4 record. Manager Mike Quade was displeased with the outcome of the road trip.
“After all that’s happened and how poorly we played in Cincinnati, we gave those two games away there,” Quade said. “The kids really recovered well, but we’re still looking to do better.”
A roster move or two is possible for the Cubs before Tuesday’s game. The Cubs need a right-handed hitting outfielder to replace Byrd, and will determine if they need another pitcher after Matt Garza’s MRI on his right elbow on Monday.
The Cubs may be able to get starter Randy Wells back by next weekend. Wells made his second rehab start Sunday for the Iowa Cubs, giving up six earned runs in four innings. He also walked three and struck out three. Wells threw 68 pitches. He originally injured his right forearm in his first start of the season on April 4. He went on the DL April 8.