The Red Sox watched as a 3-1 lead quickly turned into a 9-3 loss to the Cubs as a result of a brutal eight-run eighth inning in which Matt Albers and Franklin Morales were the two pitchers on the mound. That, in turn, raised questions about why the Sox didn't have setup man Daniel Bard on the hill with the game on the line.

It appeared that nothing could derail the Red Sox en route to their eighth straight win.

On a night when Alfredo Aceves made his first start since 2009, he gave the Sox everything they could have hoped for, delivering five innings and allowing one run. The Sox carried a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning, and seemed all but assured of standing alone in first place in the AL East by the end of the night.

Kevin Youkilis set a Red Sox record in somewhat inglorious fashion when Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano's 92 mph fastball in the bottom of the fifth inning grazed him on the rear end. The hit by pitch was the 72nd of Youkilis' career, leaving him alone atop the franchise leaderboard in HBPs, one ahead of previous record holder Mo Vaughn.

With the HBP having come a few innings after Sox starter Alfredo Aceves hit Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd in the face with a pitch, both benches were warned. Youkilis went to first base without incident.

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz launched a 2-2 Carlos Zambrano fastball into the Monster Seats in the fourth inning of Saturday night's contest against the Cubs. The two-run blast not only gave the Sox a 2-1 lead, but also gave Ortiz 300 career home runs as a member of the Red Sox.

He is the fifth player to accomplish that feat with the Sox, joining Ted Williams (521), Carl Yastrzemski (452), Jim Rice (382) and Dwight Evans (379). The Sox DH now has five homers in his last 10 games.

Red Sox right-hander John Lackey threw on flat ground in the outfield at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon. It marked the starter's first throwing session since he received a cortisone shot on Monday to treat a strained right elbow that landed him on the disabled list.

On Friday, manager Terry Francona suggested that he expected Lackey to return fairly soon.

"I think Lack will be throwing pretty quick," Francona said on Friday. "This won’t be a significant down period."

Lackey is 2-5 with an 8.01 ERA.

On a night when they will be turning back the clock against the Cubs, the Red Sox will feature Jason Varitek behind the plate to catch Alfredo Aceves' first start as a member of the Red Sox. The players will be wearing replicas of the two teams' 1918 uniforms, when the Cubs last made a visit to Fenway Park for the World Series. The Sox' will be an off-white that has no markings aside from the numbers of the players on the back of the jersey (a slightly inauthentic gesture, since numbers did not make their way onto uniforms until the Yankees introduced them in the 1930s).

In another scenario, Adrian Gonzalez could have been making his first visit to Fenway Park on Friday night.

The Red Sox enjoyed their biggest offensive eruption of the 2011 season, scoring their most runs of the season while collecting their most hits (19) of the year en route to a 15-5 shellacking of the Cubs. The Sox exceeded the nine runs they scored over six games in the 1918 World Series that had marked the last time that Chicago's National League squad visited Fenway Park.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that John Lackey has yet to throw since receiving a cortisone shot in his right elbow on Monday. However, the manager remains optimistic that the right-hander -- who went on the 15-day disabled list on Monday -- will not be sidelined for too extended a stretch, suggesting that he will begin throwing soon enough that he will return sooner than fellow starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will be sidleined for at least a month.

One day after he was pulled from his start against the Tigers after six innings and 83 pitches, Josh Beckett acknowledged that his neck remained "sore," but that he is already feeling better. As such, he does not anticipate any problem making his next scheduled start.

"I don't think that was ever even a question," Beckett said of his next start.

Beckett said that he was able to follow his normal day-after-start program, and that he even threw the ball without a problem.