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Schwarber up to challenge with game on the line

Delivers go-ahead RBI following intentional walk

CHICAGO -- Kyle Schwarber has seemingly come up with big hits every night since making his Major League debut on June 16, and escaped the distractions that have been thrown his way.

On Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field, the Cubs' young outfielder answered the challenge in the fifth inning and helped push the Cubs to their ninth straight victory, a 6-3 win over their crosstown rivals that gave the North Siders a 3-2 series edge.

Video: [email protected]: Arrieta, Ross, Schwarber recap 6-3 win

The White Sox did challenge Schwarber in the fifth, intentionally walking Dexter Fowler with a runner at second and nobody out so the rookie could face lefty Jose Quintana. Schwarber delivered an RBI single, and another run scored when he hit into a fielder's choice in the three-run seventh.

The fifth inning was big.

"I was trying to get a good at-bat and control what I could control," Schwarber said of his at-bat. "I didn't have two good at-bats before then. Those things, you just have to throw to the side and go on to the next at-bat, the next pitch. I just got to two strikes and was battling and able to put the ball in play."

Was he miffed?

"There's nothing personal there -- it's a smart decision to not face the righty and go after the lefty," Schwarber said. "It does get a little fire under you and you want to have success a little more."

Did Cubs manager Joe Maddon sense Schwarber had a chip on his shoulder?

"It's hard to tell with him -- he just has one look all the time," Maddon said. "I'm sure he was motivated by it. That speaks volumes about Schwarbs being able to get that knock right there."

Schwarber, who has a .315/.403/.586 line, with eight homers and 27 RBIs in 33 games, was upset at himself for a baserunning mistake later in the fifth. Maddon said he doesn't want players to worry about making mistakes.

"The moment they start worrying about making mistakes, then you don't play winning baseball, you don't play winning football, you don't play winning anything," Maddon said.

Schwarber didn't see the bottle that a fan threw at him in the sixth inning after he chased down Alexei Ramirez's RBI double, but Cubs catcher David Ross did.

"It scared me," Ross said. "If it hits him in the head, that's dangerous."

Of course, Ross then joked that people should be careful when it comes to messing with the Cubs rookie.

"I'll tell you what, I'd hate to wrap up with Kyle Schwarber," Ross said. "Whoever threw that doesn't want any part of Kyle Schwarber, I don't care how old he is."

The 22-year-old linebacker-turned-ballplayer just shrugged off the incident.

"I guess that's what this series is all about," Schwarber said of the crosstown rivalry.

Ross was just glad everyone survived.

"Let them do that," Ross said of the fans fighting in the stands. "We'll just play baseball."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
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