CHICAGO (AP) – Greg Maddux got shoved out of the dugout for a curtain call after a rare home run, a strange sight for sure at Wrigley Field.

But this was not like any other regular-season game, even though it was. It was the Cubs meeting the Red Sox for the first time since the 1918 World Series, and there was an electricity all day.

Everyone could feel it. Even the 39-year-old Maddux, known for his no-big-deal shoulder shrugs, was soaking it up.

“It’s always fun. There’s not a lot of history between these two teams and I think that’s what made it a little bit special today,” Maddux said after the Cubs erupted for 20 hits – four homers – to rout the World Series champions 14-6 Friday in Red Sox’s first visit ever to Wrigley.

“The Red Sox were our rival in Atlanta for a couple of years, so you are lucky enough to pitch in Fenway and face them,” said Maddux, now 5-0 against Boston.

“They’re the best team in baseball until somebody beats them and nobody’s done it yet. So just going up against last year’s champions, that’s special enough.”

Maddux (5-3) got career win No. 310, allowing seven hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings, including David Ortiz’s sixth-inning homer. Ortiz also homered in the ninth for Boston.

An electric crowd of 39,215, including a noisy contingent of red-clad Red Sox fans, withstood a sweltering 89-degree day of high humidity.

“It had sort of a playoff atmosphere,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “Other than the Cardinals series rarely do you see as many fans on their side as our side.”

Jeromy Burnitz hit two of the Cubs’ homers.

“It was nice and loud. I loved when Maddux got his curtain call and after he was done. A lot of noise and a lot of energy,” Burnitz said.

The 39-year-old Maddux connected off reliever John Halama in the sixth inning.

“I hit it high enough for the wind to blow it far enough,” Maddux said of his fifth career homer and first in six years.

Burnitz added a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 11-2.

Burnitz hit a solo homer, and Todd Hollandsworth had a two-run shot in the second. And the Cubs added four more runs in the third off Bronson Arroyo (4-3), using five hits, including Michael Barrett’s two-run double off Johnny Damon’s glove in center. Jason Varitek’s throwing error allowed another run to score and Aramis Ramirez had an RBI single.

“Playing here in Wrigley I think our outfielders got a chance to see how the ball can carry and it did,” Damon said. “That ball Barrett hit came off my glove and, of course, I wish I could have caught it but it just kept going and going.”

Chicago scored three more in the seventh, with Hollandsworth and Barrett hitting RBI doubles.

“It’s a worst case scenario. Going out there against a guy like Greg Maddux, to give him seven runs early, it’s putting us in a hole that’s almost impossible to get out of most of the time,” Arroyo said.

“You never want to go out there and get embarrassed, like I did today. That’s enough to get you going, but it’s definitely fun to pitch in a ballpark where the atmosphere is upbeat.”

Former Cub Bill Mueller doubled and scored on Edgar Renteria’s hot-shot RBI single off Neifi Perez’s glove in the third.

Boston scored three runs in ninth on Mark Bellhorn’s leadoff homer and Ortiz’s two-run shot – his 16th of the season.

The Red Sox enjoyed the atmosphere, if not the result.

“I thought it was great. We know the Cubs have some great fans and we had a lot of fans that traveled here to see us,” Damon said.

The teams, known more for their curses than their postseason success until the Red Sox broke through and won the World Series last season, were meeting in the regular season for the first time.

The last time they faced off, Babe Ruth was pitching the Red Sox to the world title in six games. Boston didn’t win another one until last season, so one of the teams with a so-called curse is off the hook.

The Cubs still haven’t won a World Series since 1908 or been in once since 1945 when, according to legend, a local bar owner put a hex on the team because his goat was barred from Game 4.

The agony for long-suffering Red Sox fans may have ended, the “The Curse of the Bambino” over with a victory over the Yankees and then the Cardinals last fall.

In Chicago, it continues.

“Now half of it’s over and the other half of it is to be completed by us,” Baker said before the game. “Then what? I’m anxious to get there and find out the “then what.”‘

Notes: Maddux’s last homer came on May 30, 1999, with Atlanta against the Dodgers. He hit it off Kevin Brown. .. When the Cubs and Red Sox met in the 1918 World Series, three games were played at Comiskey Park. … Through the 2004 season, 152 players had played for both the Cubs and the Red Sox. … Despite the rare meeting, only four members of Boston’s 25-man roster Friday had never played at Wrigley Field.

AP-ES-06-10-05 1906EDT


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