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MLB Team Report - Chicago Cubs - INSIDE PITCH
BOSTON -- Don't look now, but the Chicago Cubs are playing some pretty good baseball.
The last-place Cubbies completed a sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 16-9 win on Wednesday night and are 24-19 in their last 43 games. They have also won four straight and six of their last seven road games.
They started the series in Boston with 2-0 and 2-1 wins but then belted four home runs and 19 hits in completing their first three-game inter-league sweep since 2009 -- their first on the road since 2007.
"It's fun to take this series the way we did," said second baseman Darwin Barney, who came into Wednesday's game hitting .196 and stroked four hits, scored twice and drove in a run, on what he called "a memorable" personal night.
"Obviously our pitching has been good, if we give them a little more run support they'll be a lot better."
Said third baseman Mike Olt, who had a homer and three RBIs: "The Red Sox obviously were world champs last year. We knew what we were coming into. It's nice to come in here and sweep the series.
"For us, I think it gives us confidence going into the All-Star break."
The 16 runs and 19 hits came close to season highs for the Cubs, who had 17 runs and 20 hits, also on the road, at St. Louis on May 12.
MLB Team Report - Chicago Cubs - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won three
NEXT: Cubs (RHP Jason Hammel, 7-5, 2.98 ERA) at Nationals (RHP Tanner Roark, 7-5, 2.98 ERA)
--LHP Travis Wood couldn't stand prosperity Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Despite an offensive eruption by his teammates, Wood turned in his third straight outing without a win, lasting 3 2/3 innings and yielding three runs on seven hits. He has thrown the same number of innings at home and on the road this year -- 49 2/3 -- but has allowed half as many earned runs in the home outings.
--3B Mike Olt has 25 hits and 11 of them are home runs. He snapped an 0-for-13 when he hit No. 11 with a man on in the fourth inning on Wednesday night, his 26th and 27th RBIs of the season. He then led off the sixth inning with a double, his 15th extra base hit in 25 hits. Asked if he ever dreamed of hitting one over Fenway Park's Green Monster, Olt, a local talent who had family at the game said, "I'd be lying if I said I didn't."
--2B Darwin Barney, who came into Wednesday night's game batting .196, stroked two singles, double and triple in the victory. He raised his batting average to .214. "It was a memorable night," he said of his third career four-hit game.
--CF Justin Ruggiano, who entered Wednesday's game with 10 RBIs for the season, drove in a career-high five runs with a three-hit game that included a first-inning home run. Since the beginning of 2013, 17 of his 21 home runs have come on the road.
--C Wellington Castillo also homered Wednesday, his fifth of the season but first since May 18. It was also his first career inter-league homer.
--RHP Jason Hammel, who has never lost to the Nationals, opens a three-game series at Washington on Friday night. Hammel is 7-0 with a 3.12 ERA in nine career starts against the Nats, striking out 51 in 60 2/3 innings. He defeated Washington last week at Wrigley Field and has struck out 43 in 38 1/3 innings over his last six starts. He enters the start with the same 7-5 record and 2.98 ERA as his counterpart, Washington's Tanner Roark.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The Red Sox obviously were world champs last year. We knew what we were coming into. It's nice to come in here and sweep the series." -- Cubs 3B Mike Olt after a 16-9 victory over the red Sox on Wednesday.
MLB Team Report - Chicago Cubs - ROSTER REPORT
--INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio (sore right rib cage) went on the 15-day disabled list June 13. As of June 24, he was doing strengthening drills but no baseball activities. He was rehabbing at the Cubs' complex in Mesa, Ariz., as of June 30.
--RHP Kyuji Fujikawa (Tommy John surgery in June 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 3. He pitched June 2 in extended spring training. The Cubs hope Fujikawa can return to major league action sometime during the summer.
--RHP James McDonald (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. There is no timetable for his return.
RHP Jeff Samardzija
LHP Travis Wood
RHP Edwin Jackson
RHP Jason Hammel
RHP Jake Arrieta
RHP Hector Rondon
LHP James Russell
LHP Wesley Wright
RHP Justin Grimm
RHP Neil Ramirez
RHP Brian Schlitter
RHP Carlos Villanueva
RHP Pedro Strop
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Darwin Barney
SS Starlin Castro
3B Luis Valbuena
INF Mike Olt
LF Chris Coghlan
CF Junior Lake
RF Nate Schierholtz
OF Ryan Sweeney
OF Justin Ruggiano