Through his first 22 at-bats, Yoan Moncada had a bases-clearing triple and little else to show for it. He worked deep counts, and he had a mixed assortment of contact, but he hadn’t yet been able to convert it into results.
Perhaps tonight was a start. In the seventh inning, he fell behind 0-2 to Jake Arrieta, who attacked him with non-fastballs. Arrieta dropped in curve for a strike, then got a foul on a changeup. The Cubs starter then came back with another curve, but Moncada kept his hands back and drove it out to center for his first career homer.
That’s about all this game can be remembered for. Arrieta and James Shields carried no-hitters into the fourth inning, but it shouldn’t surprise anybody that Arrieta was the only one who could get through a lineup multiple times.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead against Shields in the fourth with three consecutive one-out singles, then took command of the game when Anthony Rizzo hit a bases-clearing double that stuck under the padding on the center field fence. Yolmer Sanchez didn’t help matters, as he booted a grounder to the left side that would have allowed Shields to record the first out, but instead loaded the bases. Two runs were unearned because of Sanchez’s error, but Shields was lifted after the Rizzo double, so he didn’t have much left regardless.
The White Sox were eventually able to break up the no-hitter, then the shutout. Moncada scored his first career run when he walked to lead off the fifth, moved on third on Omar Narvaez’s ground-rule double and scored on a sac fly. Moncada homered in the seventh, and Alen Hanson went oppo off Mike Montomery in the eighth.
Yet the Sox were never really able to narrow the gap. Every time the Sox scored, the Cubs were able to answer with a single tally. The White Sox bullpen had to cover five innings, and it’s stretched pretty thin these days.