Kalish, called up from the minor leagues earlier in the day, singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and scored on a squeeze bunt to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago Cubs 7-4 Sunday night at Wrigley Field.
With the victory, the Red Sox took two of three from the Cubs and returned to .500 (33-33). The Cubs dropped to 22-44.
Kalish started in center field, replacing Ryan Sweeney, who went on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left big toe.
"Absolutely," he said about playing his role. "That's what baseball's been for years. People getting hurt and people stepping up. That's just the name of this game, and I'm happy to be that guy to help."
The Red Sox also got a solid starting pitching performance from left-hander Franklin Morales, making his first start of the season. Morales, a reliever who started in place of injured Josh Beckett, struck out a career-best nine over five innings. He gave up four hits and two runs.
"I pitched very good the first couple innings," he said. "I tried to get my confidence and make my pitches. I tried to use my fastball and my split-finger. I tried to just let it go, my fastball, and stay consistent with my location."
Boston manager Bobby Valentine said, "We had a hunch he could perform well in that situation, and he proved our hunch correct. He pitched five pretty good innings. He had more, and we'd like to give him a chance to do more next time."
Cubs left-hander Paul Maholm worked six innings, giving up six hits and three runs while walking one and striking out six.
Red Sox right-hander Matt Albers (2-0) blew a sixth-inning lead but emerged as the winning pitcher. Alfredo Aceves, the sixth Boston pitcher, gave up a run in the ninth in a non-save situation.
Boston scored three runs in the seventh against Cubs relievers Shawn Camp and James Russell. Darnell McDonald led off against Camp (2-4) with a double to left-center. Pinch hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a single to right, with McDonald advancing to third base and Saltalamacchia taking second on the throw to the infield.
Kalish, called up from Class AAA Pawtucket, singled to center field off Russell to score McDonald. Pinch hitter Will Middlebrooks hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Saltalamacchia, with Kalish taking third base on an error by catcher Welington Castillo, who threw the ball into center field trying to get Kalish.
Daniel Nava then laid down a suicide squeeze bunt toward Russell, who slipped coming off the mound and had to throw to first base for the out.
The Red Sox jumped on Maholm for a pair of runs in the first inning. Scott Podsednik led off the game with a single to center field and scored on Dustin Pedroia's double to the gap in left-center.
Kevin Youkilis flied out to right, advancing Pedroia, and David Ortiz grounded an RBI single into right field.
The Cubs came back with a run in the bottom of the first. Reed Johnson doubled to lead off against Morales. After Darwin Barney popped out, Starlin Castro tripled to right-center.
In the bottom of the third, the Cubs got a two-out single by Barney. Castro's pop fly in short right field was dropped by second baseman Pedroia. Castro was credited with an RBI double.
Ortiz broke the 2-2 tie in the top of the fourth with a home run to the left of dead center. It was Ortiz's 16th homer of the season.
"Paul was good, he was really good, besides two pitches to Ortiz," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Other than that, he was really good against their right-handed hitters and did a great job, a really good job."
Sveum appeared frustrated at his own team's inability to hit left-handed pitching. The Cubs are 3-15 in games started by opposing lefties.