Chicago Cubs: Contreras’ blow clips Sox in beanball affair

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 25: Willson Contreras (R) of the Chicago Cubs is greeted by Ben Zobrist
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 25: Willson Contreras (R) of the Chicago Cubs is greeted by Ben Zobrist /

Willson Contreras belted another blast, and the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox combine for five hit-by-pitches as Cubs win 7-2 to even crosstown series.

In an emotionally-fueled game, John Lackey did just enough on the mound, and Willson Contreras went deep, as the Chicago Cubs beat Carlos Rodón and the Chicago White Sox Tuesday afternoon 7-2.

Red-hot Willson

It feels like we’re always talking about how hot Willson Contreras is. Well, he didn’t do anything to deny that notion Tuesday.

Another big at-bat came Contreras’ way in the first inning as Contreras took Rodón deep for the 3-run blast. He went 3-for-5 with four RBI. The Cubs lead MLB with 20 home runs in the second-half.

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Ben Zobrist led the game off with a double and doubled again in the second to put the Cubs ahead 4-2. He also walked and had a stolen base. Albert Almora Jr. also had two RBI.

Tuesday was the fourth outing all season Lackey did not yield a home run. Kris Bryant was ejected in the 4th inning for arguing a called third strike. It was his first career ejection.

High alert

Lackey hit three batters in the fifth inning to load the bases. A grounder to Russell to end the inning avoided further damage. Lackey hit four batters on the day. He went five innings, allowed two runs, and struck out five.

In the bottom fifth, reliever Chris Beck threw inside twice to Ian Happ including hitting him with the second pitch. Both benches were warned.

Sox’ starter Rodón helped his own cause with his first career hit, a 2-out RBI double. The first six outs recorded by Rodón were strikeouts. In four innings he struck out 11, tying his career-high.

The Cubs as a whole struck out 17 times, including seven between Bryant and Baez.

Carl Edwards Jr. was sharp today. He entered the sixth inning with two on, none out and stranded runners with two strikeouts on the day.

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What’s next

The crosstown rivals switch parks as the series shifts to Guaranteed Rate Field. Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.11 ERA) battles James Shields (2-2, 5.79 ERA).

First pitch is set for 7:10 pm C.T.