The Red Sox season sunk further into ignominy, as they were pummeled by the Cubs, 16-9, Wednesday night at Fenway Park. The loss completes the Sox sweep at the hands of the National League Central cellar-dwelling Cubs. It also drops the Sox to 38-47. At nine games below .500 it matches their season low.
It was arguably the ugliest loss of the season, and the ugliest since the disastrous 2012 season.
Red Sox pitchers allowed a season high 16 runs. They gave up 19 hits, a season high for a nine-inning game, matching the most they’ve allowed in extra innings.
The four Chicago home runs were one shy of the season high allowed by Red Sox pitchers.
The Cubs jumped on Sox starter Brandon Workman right away as lead-off hitter Chris Coghlan walked before Justin Ruggiano’s third home run of the season. Anthony Rizzo walked, stole second, and scored on Starlin Castro’s single to center. Workman didn’t record his first out until his 24th pitch of the inning, striking out his fifth batter, Luis Valbuena.
Workman went four innings, giving up six runs on five hits and three walks with three striekouts and two home runs.
The Sox used six pitchers in the game. Every one of them, except Burek Badenhop, who went 1 2/3 innigns, allowed at least one run. Felix Doubront gave up threein 1 1/3 innigns, Edward Mujica one in one inning (a first-pitch home run), Craig Breslow gave up four in two-thrids of an inning, and Junichi Tazawa allowed two in one-third of an inning.
Every Cubs batter had at least one hit and one run scored. Every Chicago batter except for Anthony Rizzo had at least one RBI.
Cubs center fielder Justin Ruggiano went 3-for-6, with a double, a home run, a run scored, and career-high five RBI.
From his first batter, it appeared it would be a difficult outing for Workman. He walked Chris Coghlan to open the game then gave up a home run to the next batter, Justin Ruggiano. Workman faced seven batters in the first, allowing three runs. He went four innings, his shortest start of the season, allowing a season-high six runs on five hits and three walks, with three strikeouts and two home runs. His ERA rose from 3.27 to 3.83.
In two starts since returning from his six-game suspension, Workman has gone a total of 11 innings, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits and five walks with eight strikeouts and four home runs.
Mookie Betts hit his first career home run, a two-run shot in the fifth inning. It was his second career major league hit, snapping an 0-for-10 slide.
NUMBERS TO KNOW:
The Sox were swept for the sixth time this season, including the fourth time at Fenway…Sox pitchers allowed 16 runs, the most since giving up 20 at Oakland on Aug. 31, 2012…Workman matched his career high, allowing six runs in the game, and a career high for runs allowed in a start. It was the shortest start of his career…Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts, leaving six runners on base. It was his first walk since June 20. He is now 0 for his last 22 with nine strikeouts. He has just two hits in his last 46 at-bats since June 18…Dustin Pedroia is 12-for-17 in his last five games…David Ortiz’s third-inning double was the 1,000th extra-base hit of his career. He is the 36th player in major league history to reach that milestone…Mike Napoli reached base four times, matching his season high for the third time…The Cubs had 10 extra-base hits, their most in a game since Aug. 30, 2010. They hit a season-high four home runs.
WHAT IT MEANS:
The loss drops the Sox to nine games below .500, matching their low point of the season. They are now 8 ½ games behind the Blue Jays in the American League East, and nine games back in the wild card.
The Sox have an off-day Thursday before an Independence Day matinee at 1:35 p.m. with the Orioles, the start of a three-game series. Jon Lester (9-7, 2.92) is scheduled to start, opposed by O’s right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (4-5, 4.56).
Lester last faced the O’s on Opening Day in Baltimore, taking the loss, giving up two runs in seven innings. He has gone at least five innings in all of his 26 career starts against the Orioles, the longest active streak among major league pitchers. In his last outing, Saturday at Yankee Stadium, Lester went eight innings, giving up one unearned run on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts as he outpitched Masahiro Tanaka. Over his last six starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA, allowing nine earned runs in 34 innings.
In three starts since returning from the disabled list on June 17, where he had been since May 31 with a strained right oblique, Gonzalez has allowed 10 earned runs and nine walks in 14 2/3 innings while opponents are hitting .385 against him. In his last outing, Sunday against the Rays, he gave up eight hits, including home runs to Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce, with four walks and two strikeouts.