Fans pose with curse-breaking Series trophies

Fans pose with curse-breaking Series trophies

BOSTON -- Matt Jaquez and friends Alex Masters and Cynthia Rico stepped off the plane from Chicago on Thursday ready for a weekend series between the Cubs and Red Sox that would check plenty of items off their bucket lists.

It started on Friday when all three watched a game at Fenway Park for the first time. It ended on Sunday night with the three decked out in Cubs gear standing in front of World Series trophies from the 2004 Red Sox and 2016 Cubs.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vazquez takes over as Sox's No. 1 catcher

Slumping Leon will only team up with Sale, Porcello

Vazquez takes over as Sox's No. 1 catcher

BOSTON -- Christian Vazquez opened the season as the backup catcher for the Red Sox, but he has been getting the majority of starts lately. This, as Sandy Leon tries to get out of a slump.

For the time being, Vazquez will start on days Eduardo Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright start, while Leon will be paired with Chris Sale and Rick Porcello.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox commit 4 E's, lose lead vs. Lackey, Cubs

Sox commit 4 E's, lose lead vs. Lackey, Cubs

BOSTON -- A resilient Cubs offense grinded its way back from an early three-run deficit on Saturday and made a winner of John Lackey in his return to Fenway Park.

Moments after Miguel Montero hit a game-tying homer in the top of the seventh, Kyle Schwarber's flare of an RBI single into shallow center put the Cubs ahead for the first time during the crucial three-run rally, and the bullpen held it over the final three innings for Lackey in a 7-4 win over the Red Sox. Boston committed four errors in the game, including a pair in the fateful seventh.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manly Hanley! 469-foot HR sets Fenway mark

Manly Hanley! 469-foot HR sets Fenway mark

BOSTON -- If you thought Kris Bryant's towering shot on Friday night was going to be the most impressive home run at Fenway Park this weekend, Hanley Ramirez had other ideas.

On Saturday, in the bottom of the third inning of the Cubs' 7-4 victory, Ramirez unloaded for a solo rocket to left against John Lackey that went over everything. With a projected distance of 469 feet, it was the longest homer at Fenway Park in the Statcast™ Era, which started in 2015.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price faces hitters for first time in 2 months

Price faces hitters for first time in 2 months

BOSTON -- David Price took the next necessary step in his return from a left elbow strain, facing hitters for the first time since Feb. 28.

The lefty faced Red Sox teammates Chris Young, Josh Rutledge and Chase d'Arnaud from the main mound at Fenway Park, throwing two innings and roughly 30 pitches.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homers aside, Wright feels he's almost right

Homers aside, Wright feels he's almost right

BOSTON -- Steven Wright's knuckleball was finally dancing again on Saturday, with that trademark "violence" you heard the Red Sox talk about so much last season.

But there were two flat ones that turned his day into a 7-4 loss to the Cubs instead of the resurgent victory he was looking for.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Epstein, Vedder rock out for good cause

Cubs president, Pearl Jam singer hold Hot Stove Cool Music concert

Epstein, Vedder rock out for good cause

BOSTON -- It had just hit 1 a.m. ET early Sunday morning at the Paradise Rock Club on Commonwealth Avenue, and if you weren't there, you may not have believed it.

Deep into the final song of the night for the Hot Stove Cool Music benefit concert, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein decided to jump off the stage and into the crowd. Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder followed.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox hold off Cubs after 5-run first

Red Sox hold off Cubs after 5-run first

BOSTON -- An electric atmosphere at sold-out Fenway Park made April feel like October, and the sea of blue shirts in the stands made it clear how many Cubs fans made the trek to Boston for this much-anticipated weekend series.

But the Red Sox stood their ground on their home turf, utilizing a big burst of offense in the bottom of the first and a strong late-inning effort by the bullpen en route to Friday night's 5-4 victory over the defending World Series champions.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs thrown for a curve against Pomeranz

Cubs thrown for a curve against Pomeranz

BOSTON -- When Kris Bryant tattooed Drew Pomeranz's seventh pitch of the night for a titanic homer over the Green Monster, it was a reminder for Boston's lefty starter that the best way to beat the Cubs would be to keep them off-balance with his signature knuckle curve.

Bryant's solo homer, which Statcast™ registered with a projected distance of 449 feet, came off a 92.8-mph fastball.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedroia bats 6th for first time in career

Farrell shakes up slumping Sox lineup, moves Bogaerts to top

Pedroia bats 6th for first time in career

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell took action regarding his slumping offense, sliding leadoff man Dustin Pedroia into the No. 6 hole while putting Xander Bogaerts at the top of the order.

And in Friday's 5-4 win over the Cubs, the move paid dividends.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Epstein makes 1st Fenway trip as Cubs boss

Epstein makes 1st Fenway trip as Cubs boss

BOSTON -- He walked into a utility closet trying to get to the field from the visitor's clubhouse at Fenway Park, but Theo Epstein did eventually find his way. One could say the same about the path he's taken from the Red Sox to the Cubs, which Epstein, now president of baseball operations in Chicago, is reliving this weekend.

The Cubs and Red Sox are meeting in a three-game Interleague series at Fenway Park, their first games in Boston since 2014. However, Epstein missed that series because he was in Chicago to be with his wife for the birth of their second son.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kimbrel stays in control; 21 of last 22 retired

Kimbrel stays in control; 21 of last 22 retired

BOSTON -- It is a situation Craig Kimbrel has found himself in often this season. As fans began to cheer and "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent blared over the loud speaker Friday night, Kimbrel would have to face the heart of the Cubs' order to secure a Red Sox victory.

He did just that. Using his triple-digit fastball and deceptive curveball, Kimbrel silenced the Cubs' bats and secured a 5-4 win for the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen Cop celebrates Benintendi homer

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Bullpen Cop celebrates Benintendi homer

It didn't take long for this weekend's Cubs-Red Sox showdown to produce some fireworks: After Kris Bryant nearly launched one onto the Massachusetts Turnpike in the top of the first on Friday night, Boston answered back with five runs of its own in the bottom half, highlighted by a solo homer from Andrew Benintendi.

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Epstein back in Boston for baseball, charity

As Red Sox host Cubs this weekend, clubs collaborating on fundraising events

Epstein back in Boston for baseball, charity

BOSTON -- With the Chicago Cubs in town for a three-game series at Fenway Park this weekend, team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was taking full advantage of the opportunity to return to his hometown, this time as the man who was key to ending two of the longest-enduring World Series championship droughts in history.

At a charity event to begin the weekend on Friday afternoon, Epstein took a moment to reflect on what the Boston area means to him.

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Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale K's 10, but Red Sox blanked by Tanaka

Sale K's 10, but Red Sox blanked by Tanaka

BOSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka got the best of an exquisite pitchers' duel against Chris Sale in a Thursday night thriller at Fenway Park, leading the Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Red Sox. Neither team had an extra-base hit.

Tanaka was machine-like with his efficiency, firing a three-hit shutout that required just 97 pitches, aka a "Maddux." The sinkerballer walked none and struck out three for his second career shutout, giving the Yankees two straight wins at Fenway in a series that was abbreviated by a postponement on Tuesday.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale's lack of support reaching historic levels

Sale's lack of support reaching historic levels

BOSTON -- The Red Sox fully expected Chris Sale would put up a lot of zeros, which is why they traded two of their top prospects to get him in that blockbuster deal nearly five months ago.

But what couldn't be foreseen is the way the Boston bats have gone silent in Sale's first five starts for the team, all of which have been dominant.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans can take photos with WS trophies

Fans can take photos with WS trophies

Before the Red Sox and Cubs meet at Fenway Park on Sunday night, their fans will get the chance to pose with the proof that their franchises' curses have been banished.

The 2004 Red Sox and '16 Cubs World Series trophies -- which marked the end of Boston's 86-year and Chicago's 108-year championship drought -- will be on display in the Gate K/B concourse at Fenway when gates open starting at 6:35 p.m. ET.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tale of the tape: Red Sox-Cubs

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Tale of the tape: Red Sox-Cubs

On October 12, 2011, Red Sox GM and certified Breaker of Curses Theo Epstein shocked the baseball world by announcing that he was leaving Boston to serve as president of the Cubs. Since then, the two franchises have had an awful lot in common -- from World Series crowns to pop culture sensations and even an All-Star or two.

So, with the teams set to face off for the first time in three years this weekend at Fenway Park, it's time to take stock of their last few years in the only appropriate fashion:

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Red Sox bolster infield depth with d'Arnaud

Red Sox bolster infield depth with d'Arnaud

BOSTON -- Shorthanded in the infield with both Pablo Sandoval and Brock Holt on the disabled list, the Red Sox claimed utility man Chase d'Arnaud off waivers from the Braves on Thursday.

The 30-year-old was added to Boston's 25-man roster Friday, and right-hander Ben Taylor was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. Lefty Robbie Ross Jr. and outfielder/infielder Steve Selsky had been optioned to Pawtucket the night before, opening up roster spots for d'Arnaud and Taylor.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox prospect Steen injured in car crash

Red Sox prospect Steen injured in car crash

BOSTON -- Red Sox pitching prospect Kevin Steen was taken to a Southwest Florida hospital in critical condition following a car accident that took place late Wednesday night.

"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Red Sox organization are with Minor League player Kevin Steen, who sustained serious injuries in a car accident in Florida last night. The club will update his condition at the appropriate time," the Red Sox said in a statement on Thursday morning.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Porcello, Farrell see progress in righty's outing

Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner fans nine Yankees in defeat

Porcello, Farrell see progress in righty's outing

BOSTON -- For Rick Porcello, the reason he had a tough-luck loss instead of a standout outing was a middle-in fastball that Aaron Judge clobbered for a two-run homer in the second inning Wednesday.

That hit was easily the most damaging of the game on a night the Yankees downed the Red Sox, 3-1, in the first of 19 rivalry games this season.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Sale's devastating slider a difference-maker

Sale's devastating slider a difference-maker

Chris Sale's first strikeout as a member of the Red Sox came on a pitch that, well ... just watch it:

Gif: Sale slider.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs star Rizzo 'forever thankful' to Red Sox

First baseman began cancer treatment in 2008 in Boston's Minor League system

Cubs star Rizzo 'forever thankful' to Red Sox

CHICAGO -- The last time the Cubs played in Boston was in 2014. Anthony Rizzo drove past Massachusetts General Hospital at the time and got a knot in his stomach, because that's where he began his treatment for cancer. He was diagnosed in 2008 while a Minor Leaguer in the Red Sox's organization.

On Friday, Rizzo will be back in Boston, and he is expecting some flashbacks, but he is focusing on rekindling some friendships from his brief time there.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Porcello hangs tough, but Red Sox fall to NY

Porcello hangs tough, but Red Sox fall to NY

BOSTON -- Aaron Judge and Luis Severino emerged from the thick fog at Fenway Park to lift the Yankees to a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday night in the first of 19 rivalry matchups this season.

Celebrating his 25th birthday, Judge hammered a two-run homer in the top of the second inning in his first career at-bat at Fenway Park. An inning later, the big right fielder went into the stands to catch a foul ball hit by Xander Bogaerts.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Appeal dropped, Barnes' suspension begins

Appeal dropped, Barnes' suspension begins

BOSTON -- The Red Sox will be without the services of key setup man Matt Barnes for the next four games, as the right-hander elected to drop the appeal of his suspension prior to Wednesday's game against the Yankees.

Red Sox manager John Farrell made the announcement at his pregame news briefing.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedroia, Sox unified after Machado incident

Pedroia, Sox unified after Machado incident

BOSTON -- The Red Sox portrayed a unified front on Tuesday, a couple of days after some controversy in Baltimore when Matt Barnes threw one high and tight to Manny Machado and subsequently received a four-game suspension.

Machado injured Dustin Pedroia with a hard slide on Friday night at Camden Yards. Right after Sunday's pitch by Barnes, which was near Machado's head area, Pedroia was seen on camera telling Baltimore's star third baseman that it was not his idea.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees-Red Sox series opener washed out

Game to be made up July 16 as part of split doubleheader

Yankees-Red Sox series opener washed out

BOSTON -- After hours of steady rain during the day at Fenway Park and no letup in the forecast for the remainder of the night, Tuesday's Red Sox-Yankees game was postponed more than four hours before the scheduled first pitch.

The game has been rescheduled for the July series against the Yankees at Fenway Park as the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday, July 16, beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET. Tickets for Tuesday's game will be good for admission to the rescheduled contest in July. The regularly scheduled game on July 16 remains at 8:05 p.m.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panda lands on DL with right knee sprain

Panda lands on DL with right knee sprain

BOSTON -- The Red Sox placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list with a right knee sprain on Tuesday. The move is retroactive to Monday.

Infielder Josh Rutledge, who opened the season on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, has been activated to take Sandoval's spot on the roster, and he will get some at-bats at third base.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.