BOSTON -- Stephen Drew was hitting .129 entering his eighth-inning at-bat against Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. What he delivered next was likely his most memorable at-bat of the 2014 campaign to date.
Twenty-four Red Sox had made plate appearances previous to Drew on Monday night; only one of them had reached base -- none of them by getting a hit. Then Drew dropped a base hit into right field, interrupting Arrieta’s date with history with only four outs remaining to a potential no-hitter in the Cubs’ 2-0 win.
Arrieta, who was winless against Boston in his six previous starts with the Baltimore Orioles, would have notched the first no-hitter at Fenway Park by a visiting pitcher since Jim Bunning turned the trick on July 20, 1958 with the Detroit Tigers.
The Red Sox have not been no-hit since Chris Bosio -- then a member of the Seattle Mariners and now pitching coach for the Cubs -- kept them out of the hit column on April 22, 1983 at the Kingdome.
Arrieta artful: The day started with attention paid to Red Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy, who might have been battling to keep his rotation spot and/or stick with the club.
But not a soul of the 37,814 in attendance will remember Peavy’s pitching performance, as Arrieta was brilliant.
Arrieta entered the game with a less-than-flattering 5.90 ERA in his previous six career games against the Red Sox. But Monday wasn’t the first time the 28-year-old flirted with a no-no -- or perfection, for that matter. In his last start -- six days ago against Cincinnati -- Arrieta carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before a Billy Hamilton single erased his no-hit bid. In that game, Arrieta picked up the win while allowing two earned runs and three hits.
On Monday, Arrieta carried a perfect game into the fifth, with Mike Napoli’s one-out walk providing the only Red Sox baserunner. Following the walk, Arrieta would go on to strike out five of the next 10 hitters before surrendering his lone hit of the game to Drew.
Arrieta exited after 7 2/3 innings, throwing a season-high 120 pitches, with 75 for strikes, striking out 10.
Peavy makes his case: Peavy pitched well enough to win, but his streak of games without a victory climbed to 12 as he was one-upped by Arrieta.
Peavy went six innings with seven strikeouts, while giving up five hits and walking two.
The only offense in the ballgame was generated by Nate Schierholtz’s home-run swing in the fourth. Schierholtz hit his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot into the right-field bullpen. It was his second hit of the game; he doubled off the base of the center-field wall in the second.
Mookie, meet Fenway: Mookie Betts made his first start at Fenway, as well as his first in center field in the majors.
He got his first taste of the friendly confines on Schierholtz’s one-out double in the second. Schierholtz took Peavy’s 1-0 offering to the 379-foot marker in left-center field. With more room left behind him, Betts hesitated and pulled up shy of the wall as he backtracked.
The ball hit the base of the wall and Schierholtz cruised into second.