CHICAGO (AP) — Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam to back a solid performance from pitcher Marcus Stroman and the Cubs edged the Boston Red Sox 10-4 on Saturday.
Bellinger, who scored twice in Friday night’s loss, capped third place in six runs with his eighth career slam. Patrick Wisdom added a two-run shot, his 15th, an inning later from reliever Tayler Scott.
Triston Casas hit his 11th home run and Justin Turner doubled twice to extend his hitting streak to 11 games for the Red Sox, who had won six straight games.
James Paxton (5-2) sailed through the first two innings but quickly ran into trouble in the third, starting with two walks to a hit batter. Nico Hoerner and Seiya Suzuki created runs by grabbing Fielder’s Choice plays, and Ian Happ set the table for Bellinger, who netted his 12th home run of the season in right midfield.
“He’s special,” Stroman said of his teammate. “It’s great to see Belli back as MVP Belli.
“He’s someone who changes a whole cast. He can change a game in one shot. Seeing him locked up is incredible.”
The Cubs scored two more goals against Brandon Walter in the seventh set, turning the game into a loss.
Paxton, who was seeking his fourth win in as many starts, did not return for the fourth after giving up six earned runs and making three walks while notching four strikeouts.
“It’s just a game. We’ll show up tomorrow,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “We just didn’t make any moves today.”
Stroman (10-6), who lost his last three starts, dished out three hits and a run in the first six innings while notching three strikeouts and making a walk.
“Typical Stro,” said Cubs manager David Ross. “Just another day for your No. 1 starter against a really good attacking club.”
Reliever Julian Merryweather gave up Casas’ double home run in the seventh.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before the game he was “very confident” about playing Kiké Hernández as shortstop, despite making 14 errors at that position this season. Hernández then mishandled Hoerner’s grounder early in the third period in what could have resulted in a double play. It was scored as an infield single.
NO HARD FEELINGS
It’s not clear what the Cubs’ plans are for Stroman or Bellinger as the trade deadline nears. Stroman, who will be a free agent by the end of the season, said he will not make a deadline deal against the Cubs and would welcome a return.
“Whatever the outcome, I’m fine with it,” he said. “No matter what happens, I would hope they get involved during free agency.”
YOSHIDA’S STREAK ENDS
Boston OF Masataka Yoshida went 0 to 4, ending a streak of eight straight multi-hit games. It was the longest such streak by a Red Sox left-hander since Ted Williams in 1940.
Boston RHP Cutter Crawford (3-4, 4.11) meets LHP Justin Steele (9-2, 2.56) in Sunday afternoon’s series finale.
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