Game Eighty-Six – Cubs 1, White Sox 5
WP – Chris Sale (8-4) LP – Jon Lester (4-8) Save – None
The largest crowd of the season at Wrigley Field saw the Cubs drop their third game in a row. Jon Lester allowed two runs in the first inning and that is all the run support Chris Sale would need. The Sox tacked on in the seventh and beat the Cubs for the second day in a row at the old ballyard.
The White Sox scored two runs against Jon Lester before he could record an out. Lester gave up a double, a triple and a single to the first three batters of the game. Lester settled down after the first and retired 14 batters in a row. But a leadoff single in the seventh and an error by Kris Bryant opened the door for the White Sox. Before Lester could get out of the inning, the Sox put three more runs on the board and socked the game away.
Jon Lester was charged with five runs, four earned, on seven hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. Lester threw 116 pitches, 67 for strikes.
Neil Ramirez and Edwin Jackson were able to keep the White Sox off the board in relief of Lester.
The Cubs offense continued its struggles against Chris Sale. The Cubs had a couple of chances to put runs on the board early against Sale but could not string together any hits … or put the ball in play with a runner on third and less than two outs.
Jonathan Herrera (1-for-1 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) for the Cubs’ run. Herrera pinch hit for Lester in the seventh and jumped on Chris Sale’s first pitch.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a walk) had a very good day at the plate against Sale. Kris Bryant (0-for-4 with three strikeouts and four left on base) and Jorge Soler (0-for-4 with four left on base) were a combined 0-for-8 on the afternoon.
Chris Denorfia (1-for-4) and Addison Russell (1-for-3) collected the Cubs other two hits. The Cubs managed six hits and a walk on the afternoon while striking out 11 times, 10 against Chris Sale.
Miguel Montero had to leave Saturday’s game after the first inning. Montero jammed his left thumb and is undergoing an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Montero will not play Sunday and the Cubs are discussing options, including activating David Ross, for a catcher to back-up Taylor Teagarden.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 46-40 on the season.
The White Sox came out swinging against Jon Lester. And Lester helped them with really poor location. Adam Eaton doubled off the vines in left (2-2 pitch). Tyler Saladino followed with a triple to right center. Saladino’s first big league hit gave the Sox a 1-0 lead. Maddon brought his infield in and Jose Abreu rolled a single into center. Saladino scored, 2-0 Sox. Lester struck out Melky Cabrera swinging on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt. Abreu moved to second on the wild pitch. Lester retired Avisail Garcia (grounder to short) and Alexei Ramirez (liner to center) to end the inning.
Jon Lester made 25 pitches in the first inning, 13 for strikes.
The Cubs managed an Anthony Rizzo walk in the first inning, but that was all. Chris Sale threw 15 pitches in the first inning, 13 for strikes.
After one complete, the Cubs trailed 2-0.
Jon Lester settled down after the first inning. Lester retired 14 in a row as the Cubs offense continued to wail away at Chris Sale.
The game went to the seventh with the White Sox nursing a 2-0 lead. And Lester’s pitch count stood at 88 after six innings, 50 for strikes.
Melky Cabrera led off the seventh with a single to left (1-1 pitch). Garcia hit a grounder to third that Bryant fielded cleanly, but when he looked at second he did not think he had a play. Bryant decided to throw to first and his throwing issues continued. The ball ended up in the camera well and the Sox had runners on second and third with no outs.
Alexei Ramirez singled to left on a 3-0 pitch, his first RBI since June 21 … sounds about right for a White Sox player in a Cubs’ series. Cabrera scored and made it a 3-0 game. Tyler Flowers jumped on Lester’s first pitch and smoked it to center. The ball sailed over Fowler’s head. Garcia and Ramirez scored, 5-0 White Sox. Lester struck out Sanchez and retired Chris Sale (3-2 pitch) on a flyout to right. And Eaton flied out to left to end the inning.
Starlin Castro led off the seventh with a single to left center. After Taylor Teagarden struck out swinging (0-2 pitch), Jonathan Herrera batted for Lester and jumped on Sale’s first pitch. Herrera pulled the ball down the third baseline. Castro was waived in after Cabrera struggled getting the ball out of the corner. Castro scored, 5-1 White Sox. Russell popped out to center and Fowler grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Cubs trailed 5-1 after seven innings.
And that ended up as the final score. The Cubs could not string together any hits against Chris Sale and Jake Petricka in the eighth and ninth innings. Chris Denorfia helped get Neil Ramirez out of a jam in the eighth when he threw out Cabrera at the plate to end the inning. And Edwin Jackson put a zero on the board in the ninth.
Jake Arrieta takes on Jose Quintana in the series finale against the White Sox on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).