No one is happier to see the calendar flip to July than Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson.
After going 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA in five June outings, Jackson can start the new month off on the right foot come Tuesday against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Maybe he can even recreate some of the same magic teammate Jake Arrieta had in Monday's 2-0 win over Boston, where he tossed a no-hitter through 7 2/3 innings.
However, finding success at Fenway has always been difficult for the right-hander. He's 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA in seven games in Boston.
"I've pitched here a fair amount. You just have to keep the ball down. Everyone knows about the Green Monster and how crazy it can play at times," Jackson said. "You can't really think about that when you are on the mound. You just have to go out and execute pitches."
Just like Jackson, the Red Sox are hoping to put June's struggles behind them. The team's offense was anemic during the month. Boston finished last in the American League in runs per game, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
In Monday's series opener, the Red Sox were shut out for the eighth time this season, managing just two hits and three baserunners.
"Any time we seemingly put together a couple of quality performances back to back, it's been difficult to extend," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Monday's 2-0 loss. "You can't pinpoint any one reason. Still, it is a little frustrating, particularly where we are with our record and our status or place in the division trying to get some momentum going."
Right-hander Clay Buchholz could be a shot in the arm for the Red Sox on Tuesday given his success in Interleague Play. In seven career starts against the Senior Circuit, Buchholz is 4-0.
In his previous outing against the Mariners, his first since coming off the disabled list, Buchholz allowed four runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings for the win.
"We were in the fifth and he had like 45 pitches," Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said after the start. "It was good. It was an encouraging outing. I'm happy for Clay that he went out and pitched the way he did."
Cubs: McLeod removes name from GM search
Senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod said Monday he has removed himself from consideration for the Padres' general manager job.
While McLeod admitted that it was a tempting offer, he said it just wasn't the place he wanted to be at this time.
"I'm very humbled and flattered that the Padres were interested," McLeod said. "[The Padres are] my hometown team and it's always been kind of a dream job for me, but as I got to sit and reflect and think about it, this is just where I want to be right now.
"We've got so many good things going on, and it'll sound corny, but we've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this. I just really believe in the vision and the direction, and I really want to be here when we win."
Red Sox: Betts starts in center field
Another day, another outfield position for Mookie Betts. Making his Fenway Park debut in Monday's series opener against the Cubs, Betts got the start in center field and finished the night 0-for-3.
"Going from Yankee Stadium where everybody is against you, to coming to Boston where everybody is with you, that's got to be a great feeling," said Betts.
In his Major League debut Sunday night, Betts started in right field and got his first career hit, going 1-for-3 with a walk.
• Jackson last logged a quality start on May 17 against the Brewers, a span of seven games. In that game, he allowed just four hits in seven innings.
• The Red Sox have played in an AL-high 31 one-run games this year, going 14-17 in those contests.
• Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has reached base safely in 17 of his last 18 games since June 12, hitting .324 in that span.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.