(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox were shut out for the second time in four games in Monday's opener of a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs.
If Cubs hurler Edwin Jackson can't turn the page from a subpar June, the odds of the Red Sox getting blanked again are pretty slim.
The two storied clubs resume their set on Tuesday night with Jackson opposing Boston hurler Clay Buchholz in his second start since returning from the disabled list.
Jackson has lost three of four and five of his last seven starts, a span that began when he gave up eight runs over just four innings in a loss to the San Diego Padres on May 23. He went just 2-3 with a 6.23 earned run average in five starts in June, capping the month with a 4-1 setback to Cincinnati in which he gave up all four runs on six hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings.
Despite the loss, the right-hander insists he isn't struggling on the mound.
"Aside from the start in San Diego I've been feeling pretty good," said Jackson. "It's tough when you're not getting the results on how you feel, but it's a long season and things can turn around quick."
The 30-year-old Jackson comes in 5-8 with a 5.22 ERA on the year and 2-4 lifetime versus the Red Sox with a 5.49 ERA in 13 meetings with 10 starts.
Buchholz, meanwhile, was out of action for nearly a month due to a hyperextended knee before returning to action last Wednesday versus Seattle. He gave up four runs on seven hits, three of those homers, over a season-high 7 1/3 innings, earning a 5-4 victory in his first outing since May 26.
"He really settled in from the third inning on," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Buchholz. "He pitched comfortably and was extremely efficient and gave us a lift."
The 29-year-old righty is 3-4 with a 6.75 ERA on the year, but is just 1-2 with an 8.66 ERA in four outings at home. He will face the Cubs for the first time looking to even this series after Chicago's 2-0 triumph last night.
Kicking off just the fourth all-time regular season series between these clubs, Jake Arrieta flirted with a no-hitter in leading the Cubs. He retired the first 13 batters faced before walking Mike Napoli in the fifth, then rolled through the sixth and seventh frames before running into trouble in the eighth.
The frame began with Arrieta striking out Napoli and then getting Xander Bogaerts to fly out, but Stephen Drew then connected on a single to right for Boston's first hit.
Arrieta was lifted after that at-bat having thrown a career-high 120 pitches and Pedro Strop induced a harmless pop-up from Mookie Betts to end the inning.
"It's special to do it in this ballpark," Arrieta said. "We won so that's the biggest thing for tonight."
Nate Schierholtz provided all of the offense in the game with a two-run homer in the fourth inning, handing Boston starter Jake Peavy a tough-luck loss.
Peavy logged six innings of work, giving up five hits and fanning seven, but just couldn't keep pace with the red-hot Arrieta.
"(Arrieta) stayed out of the middle of the plate," Boston manager John Farrell said. "He was outstanding. Obviously giving the fact that we broke up a no- hitter in the eighth inning, you give credit to a talented guy who was on tonight."
The Cubs snapped a two-game slide while the Red Sox were denied a third straight victory. The clubs have now also split 10 all-time meetings in the regular season.