Cubs right-hander Adrian Sampson allowed hits to five of the first nine batters he faced before making a timely adjustment Friday.
Specifically, Sampson confused an aggressive Red Sox lineup by switching to his off-speed pitches and retired 12 of the next 14 batters. That gave the Cubs some time to rally from a four-run deficit and seize a 6-5 victory at Wrigley Field.
”They were all over his heater early,” manager David Ross said of Sampson, who allowed a home run to Jarren Duran on his first pitch and a three-run double to No. 9 batter Jackie Bradley Jr. ”He brought out the secondary stuff more often.”
Although Sampson was charged with five runs (four earned), he lasted 5 1/3 innings and likely earned himself another start.
”The most important thing is keeping it close to give our guys a chance to come back,” Sampson said.
Mementos and memories
Outfielder Narciso Crook said he would give the ball from his first major-league hit Thursday to his mother, with the stipulation that it will be put in a safe place.
Crook, 26, got his first major-league start Friday, one day after ripping a double down the left-field line against the Reds. In each of his five at-bats so far, Crook has displayed a solid swing that he refined after signing a minor-league contract with the Cubs shortly before the lockout in December.
”Very minor details,” said Crook, who is 2-for-5. ”At the end of the day, when you work on a good swing and everything is clean, everything is gong to look good.
”My mind is in the right place, and that has a lot to do with it. That’s it.”
Outfielder Seiya Suzuki was scheduled to serve as the designated hitter Friday for Triple-A Iowa after going 2-for-3 with a home run in the first game of his rehab assignment. Suzuki reported his left ring finger felt fine.
This and that
Infielder David Bote didn’t start against the Red Sox because of a sore left shoulder but briefly was in the on-deck circle in the sixth inning before being pulled back.
o Left-handed reliever Brandon Hughes earned his first major-league victory.
o Closer David Robertson earned his 10th save in his 700th career appearance.