Chicago Cubs ride Willson Contreras to series-opening win over Sox

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

On his bobblehead day, Willson Contreras smacked two homers and picked off a runner to lead the Chicago Cubs to a series-opening win over the White Sox.

The Chicago Cubs rode a two-homer, seven RBI day from Willson Contreras to a 7-2 win over the crosstown rival Chicago White Sox on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Chicago (20-15) put their boot on the throat of their South Side rival right out of the gates. After Tyler Chatwood put up a zero in the top of the first, the bats got going in a hurry against Carson Fulmer.

Ben Zobrist started the inning by flipping a ball off the plate into the left field corner for a double. Fulmer hit Kris Bryant with a pitch and Anthony Rizzo delivered a single through the infield for the Cubs’ first run of the day. With runners on the corners, Javier Baez struck out swinging and Kyle Schwarber walked to load ’em up.

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Then, the Willson Contreras show began.

On a 3-2 pitch, the Cubs catcher put a ball into the basket in left center field. What’s more impressive than that home run? Contreras now carries a .500 career average (11-for-22) with the bags full. Not too shabby.

In the top of the third, with White Sox runners at first and second and nobody out, his arm stole the show. Contreras fired a throw to second, back-picking Matt Davidson and erasing the potential threat.

After the White Sox got one back in the top of the fourth, Bryant connected on a towering drive into the seats in left for his seventh homer of the year to make it 6-1. The South Siders picked up another tally on a run-scoring Jose Abreu single in the fifth. One inning later, Contreras struck again.

This time, he took reliever Chris Beck deep for a solo shot. This was a no-doubter sent into the bleachers in left field – just his third homer of the season for Contreras, but, on Friday, that hardly mattered.

Contreras highlighted the team’s four-run eighth, as well, smacking a two-run double down the right field line. Before the dust settled on that frame, Chicago had eclipsed double-digit runs for the eighth time this year – tops in MLB.

Chatwood, meanwhile, did what we’ve come to expect. He battled a high pitch count, lasting just five innings and limiting the Sox to two earned runs. He struck out six and walked five on the afternoon.

What Stood Out

Aside from Contreras’ huge game, Zobrist added a trio of knocks out of the leadoff spot. Bryant also had two hits and reached base five times in the game. Both men are now hitting above .300 on the season for Chicago.

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What’s Next

The Red Line Rivalry continues Saturday (weather permitting) at Wrigley Field. Jon Lester (2-1, 2.82) toes the rubber for the Cubs opposite James Shields (1-3, 5.14) at 1:20 p.m. CT.