The Chicago White Sox (17-12) dropped the finale against the Chicago Cubs (17-10) in a well-pitched matchup on Sunday.
The Sox offense came into Sunday with an MLB record 27 home runs in seven games. Yu Darvish took the ball for the Cubs to try and quiet the South Siders’ bats while Dylan Cease countered for the visitors.
Jose Abreu stayed hot in the top of the second. He came into game three of the series with five home runs in the first two games and made it six with a 440-foot solo shot. This blast made the score 1-0 Sox. It was the 20th-straight run scored via the long ball for the White Sox. Abreu is also the first player in franchise history to hit six homers in a series.
A wild half-inning ensued in the Cubs’ fourth. Anthony Rizzo reached and was pushed to third by a Kyle Schwarber double with one out. Willson Contreras grounded a ball to third that sent Rizzo home. On the play, Yoan Moncada threw home with the call on the field being “safe”. After review, the call was overturned for the second out. A few pitches later, Contreras tried to advance to second on a ball in the dirt but was thrown out by James McCann to end the inning. Still 1-0 White Sox after four.
The Sox had an opportunity to extend the lead in the top of the fifth but couldn’t execute. McCann started the top of the fifth with a single. Danny Mendick followed with a base knock of his own. Tim Anderson grounded out to third, pushing both runners up with the play being at first. Moncada struck out on a full-count pitch to end the inning.
Cease found himself in a troubling spot in the Cubs’ fifth but wiggled his way out of it. Jason Heyward walked. Victor Caratini hit a groundball to third but it was booted and then thrown away by Moncada. Both runners advanced to second and third with no outs. Nico Hoerner walked to load the bases. Jason Kipnis struck out on a slider. Ian Happ grounded into an inning-ending double play, leaving the game at 1-0 White Sox.
The Cubs’ offense broke through in their half of the sixth. Javy Baez doubled to left with one out. Schwarber used his power to give the ball a ride to center to give the Cubs a 2-1 advantage. This marked their first lead of the series.
With Craig Kimbrel now in the game for the Cubs, the Sox threatened in the eighth. Yasmani Grandal drew a two-out walk and was pinch-ran for by Luis Gonzalez. Abreu walked as well to put the tying run at second. Jeremy Jeffress replaced Kimbrel to face Eloy Jimenez. He got the Sox slugger to fly out to center to end the frame.
Jeffress remained in the game for the top of the ninth. The veteran reliever struck out Luis Robert, got McCann to fly out to center, and gave up a slow-rolling single to Nomar Mazara. Adam Engel came in to pinch-run at first with Danny Mendick at the plate. Jeffress gave Mendick a free pass to bring up Tim Anderson. The Sox shortstop drew a full-count walk to load the bases. Moncada then grounded a two-strike pitch to the right side to end the game.
The story of the day was Yu Darvish. The veteran righty threw a whale of a game and kept the red-hot White Sox offense at bay. Despite the loss, the Sox took two of three against the Cubs over the weekend. The club will have a day off tomorrow before starting a two-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday at home.