The Chicago White Sox (16-11) used six home runs to breeze by the Chicago Cubs (16-9) in game one of the Crosstown Series on Friday night.
A pair of lefties toed the rubber as Dallas Keuchel and Jon Lester faced off at Wrigley Field. Each had a flawless first inning.
The Sox opened up the scoring in their half of the second. Eloy Jimenez singled for the first hit of the ballgame. After Edwin Encarnacion struck out, Luis Robert, who returned to the lineup after injuring his hand, hit a two-run home run to make it 2-0. The ball left Robert’s bat at 112.5 MPH.
The White Sox added more offense in their half of the third. Tim Anderson got it started with a double to center. Yasmani Grandal sent a full-count pitch on a rocket to left for a single. Anderson had to stop at third to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Jose Abreu wasted no time driving them in with a three-run home run. Abreu’s sixth longball of the season made it 5-0.
White Sox bats caused more damage in the top half of the fourth. Danny Mendick joined in on the fun by hitting a solo dinger to left, extending the Sox lead to 6-0. Adam Engel reached on an infield single and advanced on a throwing error by Javier Baez. Grandal took advantage of another Lester mistake by hitting an absolute bomb to make it 8-0 Sox. The Cubs made a pitching change by bringing in Dan Winkler.
- Lester: 3.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
The Cubs bats wouldn’t get their first hit until Baez singled in the bottom of the fourth off of Keuchel.
An opportunity for the home team went down the drain in their half of the sixth. Hernan Perez and Albert Almora Jr. singled to put runners at the corners. Ian Happ reached on a slow roller to load the bases with nobody out. Nico Hoerner, who took the place of Anthony Rizzo in the lineup after substitutions, popped out to first. Baez followed with a ball up the middle that resulted in a double play to end the threat.
With Colin Rea on the mound for the Cubs in the seventh, Eloy Jimenez hit the fifth bomb of the night for the Sox, one of the solo variety to make it 9-0.
The Cubs found the scorecard in the late-going. With Keuchel still on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, Victor Caratini, who took Jason Heyward’s spot in the order, started the frame off with a double. Almora Jr. sprayed a single to right to put runners at the corners with no outs. Hoerner singled to right for the first Cubs’ run of the night to make it 9-1. Jason Kipnis, who was subbed in for Baez, drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. Former Sox catcher and substitute for Willson Contreras, Josh Phegley, flew out to center to end the inning.
- Keuchel: 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Another run crossed the plate for the Sox in their half of the ninth. After Cubs’ reliever Jason Adam almost plunked Abreu, the Sox first baseman clobbered his second homer of the night — the team’s sixth — to make it 10-1.
Jace Fry came into the game to seal the victory for the visitors and did so successfully. The White Sox move to three games over at 63-60 during the Crosstown Series. It was also the sixth straight win for the team this season as they move to five games over .500.
Game two of this three-game set is tomorrow at 7:15 PM CT. Kyle Hendricks will get the ball for the Cubs and a starter is to be announced for the White Sox. Don’t forget to tune into the Sox On Tap Podcast for reaction and analysis.