BOSTON – Luis Valbuena broke a ninth-inning tie with a sacrifice fly that sent the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
Anthony Rizzo started the inning with a single off Koji Uehara (3-2) and went to third on a double by Starlin Castro. Valbuena then lined a shot to medium right field. Mookie Betts made the catch, but his throw was offline and Rizzo scored easily.
The double was the 37th extra-base hit for Castro, who entered the game tied with Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies for the major league lead among shortstops with 36.
Pedro Strop (1-3) pitched a perfect eighth and Hector Rondon worked the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.
The game ended when a replay review confirmed the on-field decision that Valbuena’s throw from third base to first on a grounder just beat Dustin Pedroia.
Boston continued to struggle offensively one night after getting no hits against Jake Arrieta for 7 2/3 innings. The Red Sox ended that game with season lows of two hits and three baserunners. In their last five games, they’ve scored more than two runs just once.
But their dominant home pitching persisted. For the 14th straight home game, the Red Sox allowed no more than three runs, extending their franchise record. The last longer streak in the American League was 15 games by the White Sox, the last game in 1966 and the first 14 in 1967.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fifth against Edwin Jackson. Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled and scored from third on a single by Pedroia.
The Cubs tied it in the sixth.
Justin Ruggiano started the inning with a double, moved to third on a single by Darwin Barney and scored when Coghlan grounded into a force at second. Ryan Sweeney’s single put runners at first and third, but the threat ended when Rizzo lined out to first baseman Mike Napoli, who doubled up Sweeney.
Chicago threatened again in the seventh when a single by Castro, a passed ball and a hit batter put runners at first and third with one out. But Andrew Miller struck out pinch-hitter Junior Lake and Ruggiano.