By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) – Rookie Christopher Morel homered in his third consecutive game, and the Chicago Cubs rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox 6-5 on Friday.
The Red Sox took a 4-0 lead and looked like they were ready to roll to an easy win after going 20-6 in June.
Jarren Duran, back in the lineup for Boston after missing a three-game series at Toronto because he’s unvaccinated, drove the game’s first pitch from Adrian Sampson to the center-field bushes for a home run.
Jackie Bradley Jr. made it 4-0 with a three-run triple in the second. Rich Hill breezed through the first four innings before exiting with a sprained left knee in a three-run fifth.
The Cubs scored three more with two out in the sixth to go up 6-5, with Morel once again delivering.
The Dominican rookie, coming off a career-best five-hit game in Thursday’s romp against Cincinnati, smacked a two-run drive to left against Hansel Robles (1-3).
Willson Contreras then walked and scored on a wild pitch by Jake Diekman to Nico Hoerner, making it 6-5 and sending the Cubs to their fourth win in five games.
Five Red Sox pitchers combined to walk 10, Boston’s most since 11 at the Los Angeles Angels in a 15-inning game on Aug. 30, 2019.
Hill, who debuted with the Cubs in 2005, gave up three runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out three.
Hill appeared to be shaking his leg at one point in the fifth and was visited by an athletic trainer. Hill exited after hitting Patrick Wisdom to load the bases with two out.
Tyler Danish came in and walked Rafael Ortega, cutting the gap to 4-3.
Sampson gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Brandon Hughes (1-0) got three outs and earned his first career win, and David Robertson worked the ninth for his 10th save in 13 chances.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (rib) will make at least one more minor league rehab start before the Boston Red Sox decide if their ace is ready to join their rotation after being sidelined all season. Sale struck out seven over four innings for Double-A Portland on Thursday. Cora said his mechanics were sound in his third rehab outing and he felt “physically great.” The 33-year-old left-hander is scheduled to pitch for Triple-Worcester on Wednesday.
Cubs: RHP Marcus Stroman (right shoulder inflammation) and LHP Drew Smyly (strained right oblique) threw bullpen sessions on Friday. .. OF Seiya Suzuki (sprained left ring finger) was to serve as the designated hitter for Triple-A Iowa on Friday. … 2B David Bote (left shoulder) was sore after colliding with SS Nico Hoerner in Thursday’s win over Cincinnati. … 1B Frank Schwindel (strained lower back) took 40 swings.
Rookie RHP Josh Winckowski (3-1, 3.60 ERA) looks to win his fourth straight start for Boston since being recalled from Triple-A on June 15. RHP Alec Mills (0-1, 9.87) pitches for Chicago.