With a stiff wind blowing out to center, it seemed like it would be a tough day for pitchers at Wrigley Field on Sunday.
Maybe it was true for Paul Maholm, but Jake Peavy had no such problems. Peavy threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings as a barrage of solo homers built him a lead he could work with.
Then again, only one of those homers needed the wind. Gordon Beckham started the scoring by sneaking a homer just inside the left-field foul pole. That one might have been a double on a normal day. Adam Dunn followed with a rainmaker to left-center, and the wind only made it more majestic It dropped into the back rows of the bleachers, giving the Sox back-to-back homers in back-to-back games.
One inning later, Tyler Flowers murdered the ball onto Waveland. It could have cut a way through a tornado.
Peavy had no such problems, because he did a great job of keeping the ball down. He had seven groundouts to go along with his seven strikeouts. It helped that Peavy defended his position well. In the second, he handled a couple of choppers back to the mound after a leadoff single. The second one caught Bryan LaHair off second. Peavy ran him towards third and started a one-throw rundown, with Brent Lillibridge tagging out LaHair about 15 feet away from second.
The Cubs only threatened Peavy once, although it was more Peavy's doing. They loaded the bases on him with a single and two walks in the fourth, but Peavy got Adrian Cardenas to pop out to end the inning.
After Flowers' bomb, it was all smooth sailing and piling on. Even Peavy got in on the scoring.
Flowers led off the seventh with a double, and moved to third on Lillibridge's single. Robin Ventura let Peavy swing away, and it was a wise choice. His hard grounder to the left was good enough for the RBI fielder's choice, making it 4-0.
Peavy also ran for himself, and it worked out. He motored to third on Alejandro De Aza's single, then scored on Beckham's sac fly. It would have been interesting if LaHair didn't cut off David DeJesus' throw, because it appeared to be online, and there would have been a play at the plate. Thankfully, Peavy scored standing.
In the ninth, Lillibridge also scored standing ... from first, on what should have been a single to left. Pinch-hitting Alex Rios dropped a line drive towards the left field line with Lillibridge running, and they took advantage of Alfonso Soriano's bum wheel. Joe McEwing waved Lillibridge home for an uncontested run, and Rios took second for an RBI double.
Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain walked the bases loaded in the eighth, but Jeff Kellogg ruled that Ian Stewart went around on a check-swing to end the threat. The replay was inconclusive.
- Making an emergency start against a lefty, Kosuke Fukudome's first three batted balls traveled a combined 43 feet. One of them resulted in a single.