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CHC@BOS: Baker doubles to plate the first Cubs' run

BOSTON -- The Cubs head home with suitcases full of dirty laundry, some souvenirs from their first trip to Fenway Park since 1918 and a large gap in center field.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a solo homer and Kevin Youkilis added a two-run triple to lead the Red Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Cubs on Sunday and take the Interleague series. That's one loss. They are going to have to scramble to fill the void created by Marlon Byrd's injury.

The Cubs ended their three-city, seven-game road trip at 3-4 and minus at least two players, and possibly three. Byrd suffered multiple facial fractures after being hit in the face by an Alfredo Aceves pitch on Saturday and went on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. He was on the team flight Sunday with a dark purple bruise on the left side of his face and his eye partially closed.

Sunday's starter Matt Garza was scratched because of tightness in his right elbow, which forced the Cubs to insert James Russell into the rotation. And Jeff Baker left Sunday's game in the seventh with a strained left groin.

"[Monday] is a really good day to have an off-day," Cubs manager Mike Quade said.

Russell (1-5) was making his fifth fill-in start of the season. The left-hander had been subbing for Andrew Cashner after he injured his shoulder April 5. Russell had gone back to the bullpen with the addition of Doug Davis and his last start was May 2. On Friday, Russell threw three shutout innings against the Red Sox in relief.

"It helped having faced their whole lineup," Russell said. "I knew going in what I wanted to do. I kind of got stuck in certain locations, especially [David] Ortiz and [Adrian] Gonzalez were able to go the other way. It's something I'll jot down in my memory bank and remember that for next time."

What were the Cubs expecting?

"He's going to pitch until he's not pitching good," Quade said before the game. "If it's nine hitters, 12 hitters [whatever]. If I got four innings out of Russ tonight, I'd be tickled to death."

He got four. But it was the fourth that caused some problems. The Red Sox loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, and Jed Lowrie and Mike Cameron hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to go ahead, 2-0.

Saltalamacchia led off the Boston fifth with his third home run, launching a 1-0 pitch into the seats on top of the Green Monster. Jacoby Ellsbury then singled and Russell was lifted for Justin Berg, who was called up Sunday from Triple-A Iowa.

Russell gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk over four-plus innings while striking out two. It was a loss, but one he won't forget. His father, Jeff, pitched for the Red Sox, and James remembers running around the clubhouse with his brother and trying to hit balls over the Green Monster.

"It's pretty sweet playing here," he said. "I haven't been back since my dad was here, and I was a little rugrat. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life. It's not every day you get to toe the rubber at Fenway Park and get to come back and start a game at Fenway."

Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (1-1) limited the Cubs to four hits over 6 2/3 innings, including Baker's RBI double in the seventh. Youkilis tripled off reliever Kerry Wood in the Red Sox seventh.

"We just couldn't solve Wakefield, it's that simple," Quade said.

Baker, who got the only RBI hit, said he was confused by the knuckler.

"It's like a cross between slow-pitch softball, and I don't know what," Baker said. "You think it's in one spot and it's gone and somewhere else. We scratched out one run against him."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona got a little nervous in the seventh, Wakefield's last inning, when Carlos Pena hit a long fly ball to right off the 44-year-old.

"I thought maybe his last inning he was up a little bit," Francona said. "Pena hit that ball a long way and then the double [by Baker], but, boy, he was really good. A lot of strikes."

"He threw one fastball to my catcher, and it was a base hit," Quade said of Wakefield. "He's been around the block and when his knuckleball is good, he's tough.

"I wish we had not allowed him to have such a good night." Comments