Game One Hundred One – Cubs 3, White Sox 1
WP – John Lackey (8-7) LP – Chris Sale (14-4) Save – Aroldis Chapman (21)
The Cubs did the little things right Thursday night at the old ballyard that added up to a win over the White Sox. The Cubs played a complete game and beat Chris Sale to earn a split in the four-game Crosstown Cup Series.
Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell drove in the Cubs’ three runs. The Cubs made the plays in the field and John Lackey settled in after a rough start before handing the ball off to the bullpen.
Joe Maddon used Pedro Strop in the seventh and Hector Rondon for two outs in the eighth. But with the tying run on third, Maddon called on Aroldis Chapman. The Cubs new closer struck out Melky Cabrera to end the eighth and retired the side in order in the ninth. Chapman picked up his first four-out save of the season.
Thursday started like so many games of late with the Cubs in an early hole. The Sox put a run on the board in the first inning after John Lackey served up a double to Melky Cabrera that drove in Tim Anderson from first base. Lackey limited the damage to one run in the first by retiring Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier on two balls that did not leave the infield. Lackey found a groove after the first inning that he hasn’t had for a majority of two months and kept the Sox off the board.
The Cubs took the momentum right back in the bottom of the first inning. And it all started with Dexter Fowler (1-for-2 with a walk, a HBP and two runs scored).
Dexter Fowler worked a walk and scored from first to tie the game at one on a booming double to center by Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a walk and a RBI). Bryant just missed a two-run homer. The ball hit high off the ivy. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) did his job and advanced Bryant with a grounder to second. The Cubs could not get the run in from third with less than two outs. And it looked like it could be another one of those nights.
John Lackey faced the minimum in the second and retired the side in order in the third. The Cubs took the lead for good in the home-half of the third inning.
Chris Sale hit Dexter Fowler to start the third. Kris Bryant walked on four pitches and put two on with no outs. Rizzo flied out to left center.
Ben Zobrist (2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a RBI) delivered the game-winner, a single to center that plated Fowler with the go ahead run. Bryant went to third but Willson Contreras (0-for-4) rolled into a 6-3 double play to end the inning.
John Lackey made the one run hold up. Lackey retired 10 in a row after the Cabrera double in the first inning. Chris Sale led off the sixth with a single off the second base bag. The Sox put two on with two down following a single from Cabrera but Lackey retired Abreu on a 3-2 pop out to Rizzo.
Lackey allowed one run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Lackey made 84 pitches, 55 for strikes, in six innings.
Pedro Strop retired the White Sox in order in the seventh. Hector Rondon started the eighth and gave up a leadoff double to Tyler Saladino. With the Cubs clinging to a 2-1 lead, Rondon caught Adam Eaton looking for the first out. Anderson grounded out to second, Saladino went to third and Maddon went to his bullpen.
Aroldis Chapman struck out Melky Cabrera swinging at a 2-2 pitch to end the eighth.
The Cubs added a much-needed insurance run in the home-half of the eighth.
Ben Zobrist led off the eighth with a double to right. Adam Eaton misplayed the ball and Zobrist went to third on the error. With the infield in, Contreras grounded out to Frazier at third.
Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) put the ball in play. Russell grounded a 2-1 pitch from Nate Jones to short. Anderson charged the ball and Zobrist broke for the plate. Anderson bobbled, had to settle for the out at first and Zobrist scored the Cubs’ third run.
Javier Baez (1-for-3 with a walk) restarted the inning with a two-out walk. After Tommy La Stella was announced as the pinch hitter for Matt Szczur (0-for-2 with a walk), Robin Ventura went to his pen for lefty Dan Jennings. La Stella popped out and it was up to Chapman to nail it down.
Aroldis Chapman retired Abreu (grounder to short), Frazier (swinging strikeout) and pinch-hitter Avisail Garcia (grounder to second) to end the game.
With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 61-40 on the season.
The Cubs welcome the Seattle Mariners to Wrigley for the first of three on Friday afternoon (1:20pm CDT). Jon Lester is scheduled to face Hisashi Iwakuma in the opener.