BOSTON -- At one time, the Cubs and Red Sox were joined together as two teams cursed by history.
First, there are no curses. Second, the Red Sox took care of business by winning two World Series in the first decade of this century.
The Cubs? Well, they're still waiting as they wander in the baseball wilderness.
The Red Sox knocked around Cubs pitching 15-5 Friday night at Fenway Park in the Cubs' first appearance at this park since the 1918 World Series.
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry rejoined the team Friday. About all he could do was tip his cap to the Red Sox, who outhit the Cubs 19-12. The Cubs out-erred the Red Sox 4-1.
This was the beginning of interleague play, and what it showed was that the Cubs are not in the Red Sox' league.
"They had to take on the big boys in New York, and they got it done," Hendry said, referring to the Yankees. "They got over the hump. They got over the final hurdle that we haven't yet."
The Cubs were hoping to build some momentum from the two-game sweep of the Florida Marlins. That came on the heels of a disastrous two-game set at Cincinnati.
This team still has a lot of convincing to do that it's nothing more than a fifth-place club in a six-team division.
"I am hopeful that a lot of our failures early ... I think what we have is a lot of really solid guys, team-oriented guys that are trying so hard to be the guy and get something going that maybe they pressed themselves into some failures," Hendry said. "Hopefully, they proved the last couple days they could relax, play good baseball against a good team. We gave away quite a few games. Everybody has them, but the two in Cincinnati were really about as hard to take as (any) all year."
Hendry is basing his hopes on what he feels is his team's character.
"I don't think anybody questions that we got a lot of high-character guys in the clubhouse," he said. "I think they're going to grind their way through it and play good baseball. The last couple days should really show you something because it was really two really, I hate to use the word 'tragic' losses, but they were bad ones."
The Red Sox no doubt have guys of high character, too. They also have guys who see pitches at the plate and work counts. Coming into the game, the Red Sox ranked second in the American League in walks while the Cubs were dead last in the National League.
Boston took advantage of its baserunners, chasing Cubs starter Doug Davis after just 3⅔ innings. Scott Maine fared little better, giving up 5 hits and 3 runs (including 2 homers) in one-third of an inning.
"The first thing you do is try to get a plan of attack, and when you can't execute it, it makes it real tough to be successful," Davis said.
• Follow Bruce's Cubs reports via Twitter @BruceMiles2112, and join the conversation with fans on his Chicago's Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.