The Chicago Cubs (61-40) found a way to salvage the series with the White Sox (50-52), winning game four by a score of 3-1. A split is the best they could do, but Thursday ended in a win for the Cubs no matter how you slice it.
John Lackey (8-7, 3.69 ERA) looked sharp tonight and earned his first win since June 8th. After the first inning, one couldn’t help but wonder if it was going to be another rough outing for Lackey.
But he settled in nicely after that, going six innings and giving up just one run on four hits and one walk.
Chris Sale (14-4, 3.17 ERA) made his first start since being suspended five games for tarnishing the White Sox throwback uniforms. Sale usually has no problem cutting through opposing lineups, but he managed only four strikeouts against the Cubs.
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The Cubs got to Sale early on with Kris Bryant slicing a RBI double into deep center field to tie the game at one in the first inning. Dexter Fowler reached base three times and came around to score in the third inning on a RBI single from Ben Zobrist.
Zobrist would lead off the eighth inning by ripping a double into the right field corner. Addison Russell would eventually add an insurance run with a RBI ground out to bring Zobrist home.
Aroldis Chapman got the final four outs of the game and recorded his first save as a Chicago Cub. With Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, and Chapman pitching the seventh, eighth and ninth innings respectively, the bullpen looks to have a certain edge to it.
Since the White Sox won the Crosstown Cup last year, and because this series ended in a split, the Sox will be taking the Cup home again for the third year in a row.
Next up is a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners coming to Wrigley. Tomorrow’s game will feature Hisashi Iwakuma and Jon Lester, with the first pitch coming at 1:20 pm CT. The Cubs still haven’t lost a series since the All-Star break. They’ll look to keep that streak alive as the St. Louis Cardinals try to cut into the Cubs’ 6.5 game lead.