Cubs lost another game to left-handed starter

Associated Press Published: June 18, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) — Another left-handed starter, another loss for the Chicago Cubs.

It's the same old frustrating story on the North Side.

After the bullpen let the game slip away, the Cubs failed to capitalize on a ninth-inning rally and fell to the Boston Red Sox 7-4 on Sunday night.

The Cubs strung together three straight singles to lead off the ninth inning against Boston closer Alfredo Aceves, but plated only one run as they fell to 7-24 over their last 31 games. The Cubs are 3-15 against left-handed starters this season, by far the worst in the majors.

"You can't even try to do what we do against left-handed pitching," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's very difficult to have those kind of numbers against left-handed pitching on a consistent basis."

Franklin Morales, starting in place of the injured Josh Beckett (right shoulder inflammation), gave up two runs and four hits with a career-high nine strikeouts in five innings. It was his first start of the year and 16th of his career.

Trailing 3-2, the Cubs capitalized on several defensive miscues by the Red Sox to tie the game in the sixth, but gave it back, and then some, in the seventh.

Shawn Camp (2-4) gave up hits to both batters he faced — a double to Darnell McDonald and single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia — to start the seventh.

Ryan Kalish then singled to center off James Russell to drive in McDonald and put the Red Sox ahead 4-3. Saltalamacchia scored on pinch-hitter Will Middlebrooks' sacrifice fly, with Kalish advancing to third on catcher Wellington Castillo's fielding error. Kalish then scored on Daniel Nava's squeeze bunt.

Kalish was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game and inserted into the starting lineup as the Red Sox placed outfielder Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with irritation in a bone on his left foot.

"Got a chance in a big situation, kind of got over-anxious at first," said Kalish, whose last Major League at-bat was October 3, 2010. "I just stepped out, told myself This is baseball, I've been here before.'"

Nava entered the game in the sixth inning in place of Scott Podsednik, who left with left groin discomfort. The Red Sox currently have 12 players on the disabled list.

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