CHICAGO -- The White Sox seven-game skid came to an end and visions of capturing the Crosstown Cup remained alive via a 5-3 victory over the Cubs on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.By rules of the Cup, given to the victor of the Chicago series, the team that won the
CHICAGO -- The White Sox seven-game skid came to an end and visions of capturing the Crosstown Cup remained alive via a 5-3 victory over the Cubs on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
By rules of the Cup, given to the victor of the Chicago series, the team that won the previous year retains in case of a tie. The Cubs won in 2017 and would have clinched with a weekend sweep, although there are three games remaining at Guaranteed Rate Field from Sept. 21-23.
"Today, I'm really proud of everybody the way they competed, the energy in the dugout," Nicky Delmonico said. "Hopefully we keep that going forward and build on it."
Added Matt Davidson: "It's fun when you see everyone on the team contributing and playing how we think we can play. It's pretty cool. Obviously, we come here to win every day, and after the last couple of losses we had, it's a good win."
Trailing by a 3-2 margin in the sixth, Jose Abreu singled and scored on Delmonico's triple to right-center at the end of a six-pitch battle with Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks. Davidson, who went deep for his 11th homer in the second, followed with a long sacrifice fly to center, giving the White Sox their first lead of the three-game set at 4-3.
Both Delmonico and Davidson used pink bats specially made for Mother's Day in producing the runs, and Delmonico planned to sign the bat and give it to his mom, Barb, as a gift.
Lucas Giolito earned the victory, which would not have been thought possible with the way he started the game. Giolito issued a trio of four-pitch walks and also went 3-0 on Javier Baez before he singled home two. The right-hander permitted four stolen bases in the first and five for the game, but the Cubs only scored the two runs in the first.
Giolito finished with three runs allowed on two hits and seven walks in 5 2/3 innings, striking out three. For the season, he has a Major League-leading 32 walks and 24 strikeouts over 41 2/3 frames. But he was effectively wild on Sunday.
"The one thing that was unwavering was my confidence in myself," Giolito said. "I knew that if I executed the next pitch, they were going to get themselves out. It was one of those really good team victories. Defense was fantastic behind me, really good timely hitting. We put some runs on the board, and then the bullpen came in and locked it down after I was done. Just one of those grinder victories."
Added Hendricks: "I've had games like that and you go out and you have nothing. He really battled through it and got better as the game went on. It was good to see from a young guy. He made some tough at-bats for us. He was effectively wild at the start. His stuff was moving. He dialed it in late."
Giolito and the White Sox bullpen trio of Jace Fry, Nate Jones and Bruce Rondon held the Cubs to one hit over the last five innings, with Jones making his first appearance since allowing four runs over a 10-pitch span during a ninth inning Pirates' comeback on Wednesday and Rondon recording his first save.
"We are always united. Win or lose, we have each other's back, and we won today, and it's good and we are happy," Rondon said through an interpreter. "It's really special to play here, I mean the fans and the adrenaline, you can feel it. It's a really nice experience."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Caught at the plate: The Cubs put the first three runners on base in the fourth against Giolito but only scored once, with Addison Russell being cut down at the plate to thwart the rally. Russell had gone to third on Ian Happ's double scoring Kyle Schwarber, but he was thrown out by a good distance when he broke on contact on Hendricks' routine grounder to Davidson at third. Benjamin Zobrist's double play grounder ended the inning.
"Giolito did a good job staying off our barrel for the most part," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "We didn't hit him too well. We put pressure on him but came up short."
Second chance: Davidson's long home run in the second almost didn't happen. On an 0-2 pitch, Davidson hit a foul ball down the right-field line chased by both second baseman Baez and first baseman Rizzo. The ball eluded Rizzo's reach as he moved toward the tarp, and after taking two close pitches, Davidson connected on a changeup, with an exit velocity of 109.4 mph.
Giolio is the first White Sox pitcher since Dan Wright in 2001 to walk at least seven batters and allow two or fewer hits in an outing.
HE SAID IT
"He's definitely not a top prospect or has as much hype behind him for nothing. He's a great pitcher. He's nasty. He just has to get it over the plate. We know he can be in this rotation for a long time."
-- Davidson, on Giolito
Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 2.44) might be the Majors' best starting pitcher who has yet to pick up a win. Lopez opens a two-game set in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, with first pitch at 6:05 p.m. CT. He will make his eighth start of the year, third of his career against the Pirates and second in a row. The Bucs will counter with Trevor Williams.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.