Saltalamacchia leads Red Sox past Cubs, 4-3
CHICAGO (AP) -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered to back a strong start by Jon Lester, and the struggling Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Saturday.
Saltalamacchia, Scott Podsednik and Mike Aviles had two hits apiece for the Red Sox, who had dropped eight of 11. Podsednik and Will Middlebrooks each drove in a run.
Lester (4-4) and the Red Sox were leading 4-0 when the Cubs rallied in the seventh.
Jeff Baker led off with a bloop double and Welington Castillo walked with one out. Then Luis Valbuena belted a three-run homer for his first hit with Chicago.
Lester struck out David DeJesus before Scott Atchison retired Reed Johnson on a grounder to end the inning. Vicente Padilla worked the eighth and Alfredo Aceves finished for his 16th save in 19 chances.
Pinch-hitter Steve Clevenger started the Cubs ninth with a single, but Aceves struck out Bryan LaHair and got Castillo to bounce into a game-ending double play.
Lester (4-4) gave the Red Sox just what they needed on the same day Josh Beckett went on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, the latest in a long line of injuries for Boston.
The veteran allowed seven hits, struck out eight and walked one against a team that came in with a .222 average against lefties, third lowest in the National League.