By KEN POWTAK, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Marco Hernandez’s hustle paid off in a big way for the Boston Red Sox.
Hernandez scored the go-ahead run on Pedro Strop’s wild pitch in Boston’s four-run eighth inning, helping the Red Sox beat the sloppy Chicago Cubs 6-2 on Sunday night.
The Red Sox took two of three in the lively weekend series that featured a strong showing for Cubs fans, chants in support of each side and the World Series trophies that ended long title droughts for the once-frustrated franchises.
“This was a high-build series, a competitive series, certainly,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A good series win for us that was needed.”
Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer for Boston, which had dropped four of five before the weekend set against Chicago. The Red Sox got two more runs on shortstop Addison Russell’s throwing error in the eighth that bounced past first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
“It was fun,” Boston outfielder Andrew Benintendi said. “I felt like there was a lot more Cubs fans here than I expected. It was fun to kind of listen to the fans go back and forth.”
Kris Bryant hit a solo homer for Chicago, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. The Cubs closed a nine-game road trip at 5-4.
Boston has won 19 of its last 22 interleague series in Fenway.
Hernandez led off the eighth with a grounder to Rizzo, who relayed the ball to reliever Koji Uehara (0-2). But a hustling Hernandez was safe at first in a bang-bang play.
Uehara appeared to break off the mound late.
“I got there as quick as I could, the runner was just faster,” he said through a translator.
Xander Bogaerts and Benintendi then singled, loading the bases. Strop came in and bounced a 2-2 pitch to Ramirez, bringing Hernandez home. Mitch Moreland’s grounder scored a run before Russell’s error allowed two more to score.
Chicago looked as if it might be able to escape after Strop struck out Mookie Betts with the bases loaded for the first out. But the wild pitch led to the big inning.
“I thought Stropy did a great job, striking out Betts, wild pitch, but other than that he did a really nice job in there,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Then we made another mistake to make it really look ugly at the end.”
Matt Barnes (3-0) worked one scoreless inning after completing his four-game suspension for throwing behind the head of Baltimore’s Manny Machado. Craig Kimbrel got the final three outs.
Chicago trailed 2-1 before Jon Jay scored from second after reliever Joe Kelly bounced a pitch past Christian Vazquez in the seventh.
Jay’s headfirst slide beat Vazquez’s throw to Kelly after the catcher couldn’t find the ball for a few seconds. He was originally called out, but the call was challenged.
After playing the first two games in summer-like temperatures, the teams took the field to a chilly 47 degrees.
That didn’t seem to affect the distance of Ramirez’s homer, estimated at 440 feet after it completely left Fenway over the Green Monster seats in the first.
On Saturday, he had one estimated at 469, the longest at Fenway this season.
Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out nine over six innings, allowing one run and five hits.
Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs and three hits in six innings.
Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio is expected to re-join the team Monday after leaving a week ago for a personal matter.
Red Sox: Farrell said 3B Pablo Sandoval, placed on the disabled list April 24 with a sprained right knee, still hasn’t started any baseball activities and is only going through range of motion exercises.
The 2016 World Series trophy, won by the Cubs to end their 108-year drought, and the 2004 one captured by the Red Sox, their first in 86 years, were together on a table under the stands behind right field. Fans had the chance to take pictures with the trophies for a $20 donation to charity.
There was a steady flow of fans dressed in both Red Sox and Cubs jerseys.
Cubs: LHP Brett Anderson (2-0, 3.54 ERA) is set to face Philadelphia RHP Vince Velasquez (1-2, 6.33) at Wrigley Field on Monday night.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (1-3, 4.75 ERA) hopes to end a string of losses in three consecutive starts Monday. Dylan Bundy (3-1, 1.65) is slated to start for Baltimore.
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