Mark Leiter Jr. comes big in relief helping Chicago Cubs beat Boston Red Sox for 5th win in 6 games – The Denver Post

Mark Leiter Jr. threw 5⅓ solid innings of relief, Nico Hoerner and Patrick Wisdom had two hits each and the Chicago Cubs took advantage of a few errors, beating the Boston Red Sox 3-1 on Saturday night at Wrigley Field.

Four pitchers combined limited the Red Sox to five hits, as the Cubs won for the fifth time in six games.

David Robertson retired the side for his 11th save in 14 chances. He gave up a double before striking out Rafael Devers and JD Martinez and worked around a walk, pulling a flyout to end the game.

Jackie Bradley Jr., Jarren Duran and Devers doubled for the Red Sox, who dropped four out of five. They went 20-6 in June, but have lost two in a row in the series.

Cubs starter Alec Mills left with lower back pain after throwing just seven pitches. Mills, 30, struckout Duran and took off on a double by Devers. Leiter Jr. came on and struckout Martinez and caused Xander Bogaerts to go out to end the inning.

“That was great,” said Mills. “What he did was special.”

Leiter Jr. (2-2) gave up three hits, struckout five and walked once.

“It was nice to feel that emotion,” said Leiter Jr., who came out to an ovation from the audience. “Proud that we can hold on to where we were and not have to run through other guys and really use a lot of arms.”

Mills was activated on June 7 after spending time with the 60-day injury due to a right quadriceps strain. He said the pain is “a very similar feeling” to his previous injury.

“The pitch to Duran at the strikeout was when I initially felt something,” said Mills. “It didn’t get any better. I thought maybe I could get through it.”

The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on two errors. Wisdom singled and advanced on a throwing error by third baseman Devers. Wisdom then scored on a throwing error by pitcher Josh Winckowski to first base on a bunt-single by Hoerner, who moved to third base on a groundout and scored on Narciso Crook’s sacrifice fly.

The Red Sox narrowed the lead to one in the sixth, trailing Leiter. Bradley Jr. led off with a double, moved on Duran’s single and scored on a double play.

Pinch-runner Nelson Velázquez stole second base, moved on a wild pitch and scored on Wisdom’s single off Tanner Houck in the eighth.

Winckowski (3-2), a rookie, gave up two runs, one earned and six hits in six innings. He struckout six and walked one. He tried to win his fourth straight start since being recalled from Triple A on June 15.

“I felt really good,” he said. “This is probably the best my location has felt since I’ve been here in terms of working both sides of the plate and landing the slide when I needed an attack.”

Winckowski said pitching at Wrigley Field was “a little disappointing.”

“Fenway (Park) kind of has a presence there,” he said. “I really didn’t understand that here, to be honest. I said to my mom last night this place is very standard

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