|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, April 28, 2017
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts Attendance: 37,054
Cubs invade Fenway to meet sockless Sox
BOSTON -- There was a time, and it wasn't all that long ago, when an interleague series between the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox would have qualified as a Misery Loves Company Bowl.
Two historic and very unlucky franchises going head to head.
But that began to change in 2004, when the Red Sox ended their 86-year Curse of the Bambino by winning it all -- starting a run of three titles in 10 years.
The Cubs finally ended their agony after 108 years by winning the World Series in 2016.
In the span of 12 years, the teams that play at Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, baseball's grand old ballparks, have become winners instead of sad-sack losers.
It's just not the same.
The Cubs come to Boston having grabbed their rightful place at the top of the National League Central. They are 12-9, but bring an 8-4 road record into Fenway, where Jake Arrieta, off to a great start, opens the three-game series against Boston's Drew Pomeranz on Friday.
The return of the Cubs to Fenway means a return for manager Joe Maddon, who managed so many games there with the Tampa Bay Rays, former Red Sox prospect Anthony Rizzo and pitchers John Lacky and Jon Lester. Lackey is slated to work the middle game of the series.
"It's the American League East, and I cut my teeth there as a manager," Maddon said Wednesday.
Rizzo, who like Lester battled and beat cancer as a member of the Red Sox organization, said: "I'm forever thankful (toward the Red Sox). The Red Sox paid for my whole treatment, and they didn't have to do that. The way they treated players on the field and off the field was first class, just like it is here (with the Cubs)."
Arrieta, off to a 3-0 start with a 3.65 ERA, is 1-3 lifetime against the Red Sox but current Boston hitters are a combined 8-for-48 against him. Mitch Moreland, Dustin Pedroia and the disabled Pablo Sandoval all have home runs. Arrieta is 1-1 at Fenway Park.
Pomeranz will be making his fourth start since coming off the disabled list. He was great his first time out, allowing one run on four hits in six innings in a win over the Baltimore Orioles. But he yielded seven earned runs on 10 hits in 9 2/3 innings his last two times out.
He is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and a .148 opponents' batting average in three career starts against the Cubs.
Last year with San Diego, Pomeranz held the Cubs scoreless on three hits in six innings at Wrigley Field.
He takes the mound on Friday night in front of a team that is not hitting. The Red Sox (11-10) were blanked for the third time in seven games Thursday night as Masahiro Tanaka tossed a three-hit shutout.
Boston has scored 13 runs and gone 5-for-42 with runners in scoring position over those seven games.
Asked after Thursday night's latest futility about possible lineup changes, manager John Farrell said: "It's a week. I don't want to say this is something our club is. We've had ballgames when this same lineup has produced, it's put together big innings, it's put together a number of quality at-bats, a high number of hits. It hasn't been the case the last couple of nights."
Updated April 28, 2017