How it happened: Reliever Neil Ramirez gave up his first home run in the majors as Gordon Beckham took him deep in the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie. The Sox got on the board first on an Alexei Ramirez groundout in the fourth, scoring Beckham, who had singled to open the inning. The Cubs tied it in the fifth on an Emilio Bonifacio single off the glove of Beckham as Junior Lake crossed the plate.
The Sox put the game away in the ninth, adding three runs off Pedro Strop before he left with an apparent injury. Edwin Jackson threw his best game of the year, giving up six hits over seven innings while striking out nine. He yielded all six hits to two players, so he was never in a lot of trouble. Hector Noesi threw well, allowing just one run over five innings. Beckham was 4-for-5, including what was to be the deciding run off his solo homer in the eighth.
What it means: Ramirez hung a slider, but that doesn’t take away from his fast start and it doesn’t take away from Jackson’s performance. Like Jeff Samardzija the night before, Jackson easily pitched well enough to win but the offense let him down. Once again, it wasn’t a great hitter’s night. But the Sox have pushed across enough runs to take the first two games of the series. It’s a microcosm of where they are offensively as compared to the Cubs. One is closer to a finished product, while the other is still a work in progress. Strop is not having the success he had after coming over from the Baltimore Orioles last season. He’s struggled with control and got hit hard on Tuesday.
Vizcaino promoted: Minor league pitcher Arodys Vizcaino was promoted to Double-A Tennessee on Tuesday as he continues his comeback from two years of arm problems. Vizcaino had a 1.00 ERA in nine appearances in the warmer climate of Single-A Daytona. He’s considered one of the Cubs’ top pitching prospects out of the bullpen.
Veras throws: Rehabbing pitcher Jose Veras threw an inning at Tennessee on Tuesday without giving up any runs. He’s on the disabled list with an oblique strain.