BOSTON – It wasn’t the Green Monster looming over left field or the Pesky Pole in right that turned out to be the toughest adjustment for the Chicago Cubs in their first visit to Fenway Park since the 1918 World Series.

It was Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball.

The 44-year-old Red Sox right-hander held the Cubs to four hits in 6 2/3 innings to help Boston beat the Cubs 5-1 Sunday night. It was Wakefield’s first win of the season and the 180th of his Red Sox career — third on the franchise all-time list behind only Roger Clemens and Cy Young.

“Boy, he was really good,” Boston Manager Terry Francona said. “I guess it shouldn’t amaze me because he’s been doing that for such a long time.”

Boston took two out of three from Chicago and has won eight of its last nine overall to all but erase the damage of its awful April. The Red Sox are a half-game behind the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.

Making his third start of the season, this one because of injuries to John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka, Wakefield (1-1) had faced the minimum number of batters when he struck out Jeff Baker for what would have been the third out of the fifth inning.

Baker reached safely when the ball got past catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. That was just the third base runner in the first six innings against Wakefield.

“When you’re asked to do a job and you do it well — I take a lot of pride in that,” said Wakefield.

Wakefield gave up a pair of doubles in the seventh for Chicago’s only run, struck out three and walked none before leaving with two out in the seventh.

“We just couldn’t solve Wakefield,” Cubs Manager Mike Quade said. “He’s been a wonderful guy for this organization for I don’t know how many years. I’ve lost track. He can pitch out of the bullpen almost every day, start. His knuckleball is good; you’ve got to give him credit. I wish we had not allowed him to have a good night.”

Adrian Gonzalez singled to lead off the fourth, Kevin Youkilis walked, and David Ortiz singled before back-to-back sacrifice flies by Jed Lowrie and Mike Cameron gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.

Saltalamacchia’s leadoff homer made it 3-0 in the fifth.

After Starlin Castro and Baker doubled to make it 3-1 and chase Wakefield in the seventh, Boston scored two more in the bottom half on Youkilis’ triple.

NOTES: The Cubs put outfielder Marlon Byrd on the 15-day DL with multiple fractures in his face, a day after he was beaned by Alfredo Aceves. Byrd was released from a Boston hospital on Sunday.