Cubs edge White Sox for eighth straight win
CHICAGO -- Chris Coghlan homered twice and Anthony Rizzo launched the go-ahead blast in the fifth after Coghlan's second shot to give the Cubs a 6-5 victory over the White Sox before 36,386 at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday afternoon. Rizzo connected off of Jeff Samardzija, helping the Cubs to their eighth straight victory and ending the White Sox winning streak at three. The season series between these two also is evened up at two wins apiece.
"It was a pretty well-played game overall," said White Sox center fielder and leadoff man Adam Eaton, who homered in the setback. "We didn't come out on top, but it was an exciting game. We would have liked to scratch across two more runs, but it was an exciting game."
Samardzija struggled for the third straight start, allowing six earned runs on nine hits over six innings and 110 pitches. He gave up three home runs in a game for the first time this season. During three August starts, Samardzija has pitched 15 1/3 innings, allowing 23 hits and 22 earned runs and walking six while fanning just nine.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks was equally ineffective, allowing five earned runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking three. He walked Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera with two outs and nobody on base in the first, followed by Avisail Garcia's two-run double.
"Mechanically, right now I'm terrible," Hendricks said. "We have to find the answer. This is not fun -- not fun for me. At least the hitters and the bullpen showed up. Me, personally, absolutely terrible. I just have to get better on my end."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Eaton goes deep: The 2015 power surge for Eaton continued when he went the opposite way on an 0-1 pitch from Hendricks in the fourth inning. That blast gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead and increased Eaton's career-high homer total to 10. Apparently Hendricks didn't know of Eaton's new slugger status, as he could be seen mouthing "Wow" on the broadcast after the connection.
Homer happy: For the second straight game, the Cubs belted back-to-back home runs. On Thursday, it was Dexter Fowler and Kyle Schwarber against the Brewers before Coghlan and Rizzo did so in the fifth inning on Friday. It's the fourth time this season the Cubs have hit back-to-back homers. Chicago ranks among the NL leaders in homers this month with 17.
Abreu can't connect: With the bases loaded and two out in the second inning, the White Sox had a chance to build on their 2-1 advantage and take a commanding lead against Hendricks. But Abreu, the team's most productive hitter who walked in the first, struck out swinging to strand three. Shortstop Addison Russell actually saved a run during the prior at-bat by keeping Tyler Saladino's single on the infield.
Shutdown inning: Pedro Strop was called on to preserve the one-run lead in the White Sox eighth and gave up a leadoff infield single to Alexei Ramirez and, one out later, walked Geovany Soto. But Strop struck out both Eaton and Saladino to end the inning, and then pumped his arm several times after the last K. Ramirez had wagged his finger at Strop from second base.
"[Ramirez] kind of stole my attention a little bit on that inside move when he gave me that 'No, no, no,'" Strop said. "I felt he was kind of showing me up. I put in my mind, 'I don't have to get you out, I can get the guy at the plate.' That got me a little pumped up, but it's nothing personal." More >
"I wasn't too upset with how I threw, just the long ball got me today. The upsetting part is the walk and the three-run homer, obviously. If you give solo shots, it's one thing, but if runners are on because you put them there, it always comes back to haunt you. We lose by one, the walk to Schwarber ends up hurting."
-- Samardzija, on his third straight rough start More >
"Clayton Richard was huge. We hit the home runs, we had some good at-bats. What Clayton did coming in, he really defined the game at that point. He permitted Justin Grimm to Strop to Hector Rondon with the lead."
-- Cubs manager Joe Maddon, on Richard, who was the bridge to the late-inning relievers
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Fowler has been a lucky charm for the Cubs. He tripled in the first and doubled in the third, scoring both times. The Cubs are 40-17 when he scores a run and 15-2 when he scores at least twice.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta will take aim at his 11th straight quality start on Saturday in Game 2 of the Crosstown Classic. He has a 7-1 record and 1.23 ERA in those 10 starts. Arrieta threw a complete-game victory over the White Sox on July 12 at Wrigley Field. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. CT.
White Sox: Jose Quintana (6-9, 3.59 ERA), who will get the start on Saturday, has a 2.48 career Interleague ERA since 2012, marking the 10th-lowest among American League pitchers during that time. He has a Major League-high 47 no-decisions since '12 and is 0-2 lifetime vs. the Cubs.
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