Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0 5 0 Cubs - 210 000 00x - 3 4 3For the first two innings it was our old (un)friend Frustrating Dice - and the three runs he allowed were more than enough for the Cubs and Ryan Dempster.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-4-3-3-3, 93) walked the bases loaded in the opening inning and gave up a two-out, two run double to Steve Clevenger. In the second, Dempster tripled and scored on a two-out single by David DeJesus. Dice then found his groove, allowing only one baserunner over the next four innings, but it was too late.
The Red Sox hit a bunch of rockets into both gaps, but every one of them was tracked down by the Cubs' outfielders. Boston had at least one base runner in seven of the nine innings, but could not score off Dempster (7-4-0-2-3, 106).
Scott Podsednik made it to third base in the first, but Kevin Youkilis lined out to right to end the inning. Mike Aviles was caught off second base on Podsednik's grounder in the fifth, possibly short-circuting a rally. There were men at second and third with two outs in the seventh, but Dustin Pedroia lined out to right.
Finally, the Red Sox loaded the bases off Carlos Marmol in the ninth - singles by Ryan Sweeney and Aviles and a walk to Podsednik - but Pedroia grounded into a fielder's choice to third, ending the game.
Over his last three starts (including today), Dempster has pitched 22 scoreless innings, allowing a mere 11 hits and three walks. He dropped his ERA to 2.11. (In addition to his triple, Dempster also singled in the fourth.)
Boston (31-33) is back in the cellar, 7.5 GB the Yankees.