Friday, June 15, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 3, Red Sox 0
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs kicked off the weekend against the Boston Red Sox with a 3-0 victory Friday.
HOW IT HAPPENED: If Ryan Dempster is to be leaving any time soon, he is making sure to go out with a bang. Rumored to be on his way out in a trade to help the Cubs build for the future, the right-hander extended his scoreless streak to 22 innings with seven more against the Red Sox. The Cubs took advantage of three walks in the first inning and scored two runs on a double from Steve Clevenger.
WHAT IT MEANS: Dempster has made it clear that he has plenty in the tank and the mental resolve to go with it. He talked about being traded with Theo Epstein in the stands earlier this week and was unfazed by the discussion as he sliced up the Red Sox. The right-hander hasn't given up a run since he had to bob and weave against the Padres way back on May 30. He not only has three consecutive scoreless outings, but five of them this season.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Tony Campana wasn't even in the major leagues until April 21 and sat on the bench for about a week earlier this month, but he continued to widen his major league leading steals lead. Campana stole two bases Friday to give him 23 on the season, three more than his closest pursuer.
OFF BEAT: It's not enough for Dempster to pitch well, he's become a force on offense as well. The pitcher first got into the act with a triple down the right-field line in the second inning. It didn't hurt that first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was playing right while normal DH David Ortiz was at first base. Gonzalez mistimed his dive on the play. He later added a single. It was Dempster's first triple since 2002 and first two-hit game since 2010.
UP NEXT: The Cubs will send right-hander Jeff Samardzija (5-4, 3.96 ERA) to the mound Saturday in the middle game of the three-game series. The Red Sox will counter with left-hander Jon Lester (3-4, 4.57) in the 6:15 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.