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Cubs 3, White Sox 1: Sox bats silent vs. Lackey, bullpen

Sale solid, unspectacular in return from Jerseygate
Sale solid, unspectacular in return from Jerseygate
Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Sale made his much anticipated return to the White Sox after his suspension Thursday night at Wrigley Field. He didn't have his great stuff and showed some rust from making only his second start since the break, but battled and still turned in a quality start, giving up two runs in six innings.  However, the combination of John Lackey, the Cubs bullpen and the White Sox poor offense still made Sale a loser.

Things started out properly for the Sox as Tim Anderson came around to score on a Melky Cabrera double in the right field corner in the first to give us a 1-0 lead. However, Jose Abreu bounced to the mound and Todd Frazier popped to first to end the inning-and the Sox scoring.

The Sox didn't have the lead for long. Dexter Fowler drew a leadoff walk and scored on a Kris Bryant blast off the center field ivy. Sale avoided further damage by getting Anthony Rizzo to bounce out, Ben Zobrist to line to Anderson and Wilson Contreras to bounce to short.

The Cubs took the lead for good in the third when Sale hit Fowler in the back foot with a slider, walked Bryant and after Rizzo flew out, Zobrist singled up the middle. Contreras followed with a double play, but the lead was gone.

Lackey was dealing until the sixth, having knocked down 10 in a row.  However, Sale led off the inning with a slow roller that hit the second base bag for a single. After Eaton lined out to left and Anderson struck out, Cabrera singled to put runners on first and second for Abreu. With a full count, Sale was in motion and would have scored on a single but Abreu popped out weakly to first to kill the rally.

Addison Russell hit a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Robin Ventura intentionally walked Matt Szczur to put two men on. Joe Maddon pinch hit for Lackey with David Ross and Sale got him looking to end his evening.

The Cubs trotted out their revamped bullpen, with Pedro Strop pitching the seventh, working around a two out walk to Dioner Navarro to get Carlos Sanchez swinging to end the inning.

Hector Rondon was on to pitch the eighth, and promptly gave up a leadoff double to Tyler Saladino. Rondon got Adam Eaton looking on a pitch that was out of the zone, and Tim Anderson chopped to second to move the Saladino to third with two outs. With Melky coming up, Maddon countered with Aroldis Chapman. Cabrera went down swinging on three heaters up and out of the zone to end the threat.

The Cubs tacked on another run in the eighth on some lackluster defense. Ben Zobrist hit a double in the corner, but took third because Adam Eaton fumbled the ball. After Contreras grounded to third, Russell hit a bouncer to short. If Anderson could get the ears on the ball, he nails Zobrist at the plate. Alas he couldn't and settled for throwing Russell out at first as Zobrist scored to make it 3-1.

The Sox went quietly in the ninth to give the Cubs the victory.

  • Tim Anderson was originally given the stop sign in the first by Joe McEwing but Anderson thought better of it and scored our only run of the game.
  • The title does not change hands on a count out or disqualification, so still your crosstown cup champions of the world... the Chicago White Sox!

Record: 50-52 Box