Boston (32-28) at Chicago (32-27)

Fair Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 3:05 pm EDT Sat Jun 11, 2005
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It took 87 years for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs to renew acquaintances. If the rest of this series is like the opener, Boston might not mind waiting another 87 years to play again.

The team whose curse is still going will try to put another pounding on the team whose curse just ended when the Cubs continue their three-game set with the Red Sox.

This was billed as the cursed series, even though Boston ended its World Series drought by winning it all last season for the first time since 1918. That year, the Red Sox beat the Cubs to win the championship, the last time these storied franchises squared off.

While Chicago remains without a World Series title since 1908, the Cubs did not look cursed Friday as they rolled to a 14-6 win. The Cubs had 20 hits and hit four homers, including one by Greg Maddux, who also notched his 310th career victory.

“It’s always fun. There’s not a lot of history between these two teams and I think that’s what made it a little bit special today,” Maddux said.

“They’re the best team in baseball until somebody beats them and nobody’s done it yet. So just going up against last year’s champions, that’s special enough.”

Another big crowd is expected for this contest after a raucous 39,215 showed up Friday, including a noisy contingent of Red Sox supporters.

“I thought it was great. We know the Cubs have some great fans and we had a lot of fans that traveled here to see us,” Boston center fielder Johnny Damon said.

Jeromy Burnitz homered twice and joined Aramis Ramirez and Michael Barrett— two of the team’s hottest hitters—as Cubs that finished with three hits.

Ramirez is batting .451 (23-for-51) with five homers and 13 RBIs over his last 13 games. Barrett is 12-for-22 (.545) with eight RBIs in his last six games.

The Cubs will next take their swings at a familiar face, with the Red Sox sending Wade Miller to the mound. Miller spent his entire major league career with Houston—Chicago’s NL Central rival—before joining Boston during the offseason. The right-hander has done well against the Cubs, going 5-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 10 career starts.

While Chicago has won 11 of 14, Boston is just 7-10 since May 22.

David Ortiz was about the only bright spot for the Red Sox on Friday as he hit two homers and drove in three runs.

Despite Friday’s blowout, Cubs manager Dusty Baker knew the game was different than most at Wrigley Field.

“It had sort of a playoff atmosphere,” Baker said. “Other than the Cardinals series rarely do you see as many fans on their side as our side.”

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Starting Pitchers

W. Miller Tor vs. C. Zambrano Phi
4-4 Record 14-6
4.95 ERA 3.26
64 K 202
47 BB 86
1.57 WHIP 1.15