Cubs beat Giolito, White Sox 6-3
Cubs score 6 runs off Sox right-hander in his 2nd loss to North Siders
All-Star Lucas Giolito struggled, allowing six runs and five walks in four-plus innings. The Cubs’ first eight batters in a five-run fifth inning reached base with Kyle Schwarber scoring on a double by Javier Baez, propelling the North Siders to victory.
The Cubs roughed up Lucas Giolito for the second time in less than a month. Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez (right) each drove in 2 runs and Craig Kimbrel shut down a White Sox rally in the 9th.
Jon Lester and Lucas Giolito matched up for the second time this season. Round 2, like the first meeting, went to Lester and the Cubs.
Lester allowed three runs — one earned — and six hits in 6 1⁄3 innings as the Cubs beat the White Sox 6-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 38,634 Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Sox placed two on with two outs in the ninth, but Craig Kimbrel stuck out potential tying run Jose Abreu to end the game.
With the win, the Cubs moved a half-game ahead of the Brewers for first place in the NL Central.
The Cubs broke the game open with five runs in the fifth and forced an early exit for Giolito, who walked a season-high five batters. The inning began with Giolito walking the Cubs’ 7-8-9 batters.
“When you face a guy like Giolito, you have to take advantage,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Kyle Schwarber drove in two with a bloop double to left to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
Javier Baez followed with a two-run double past third baseman Yoan Moncada to stretch the lead to 5-1. The hit ended Giolito’s night.
Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo each had two hits. Baez scored twice.
Giolito (11-3) allowed six runs and four hits in four-plus innings. He struck out five. Two of his three losses this season have come to the Cubs.
Lester (8-6) entered the game with a 6.02 ERA in his previous nine starts. He had a 4-5 record during that stretch, with one of the victories in that June 19 game against the Sox at Wrigley Field. Lester allowed three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in 5 2⁄3 innings of the 7-3 win.
Giolito had won eight straight starts entering that game. He surrendered two homers to Willson Contreras, including a grand slam in the first inning, on the way to the short outing. He left after allowing six runsonsevenhitsin4 1⁄3 inningswithnine strikeouts and three walks.
The All-Star entered Saturday with a 2.72 ERA. It jumped to 3.15.
The Cubs knew they faced a tough challenge before the game.
“(Giolito) has reinvented himself,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before the game. “That was obvious last time we saw him at home. It came down to his arm stroke, which is unusual. When a guy at his level, his age, tries something differently with his arm stroke, I was concerned about him getting hurt. Even in the minor leagues in their early to mid-20s get successful and try to make them other than an underarm pitcher, then it’s really washed out.
“This guy is high-end. So the fact what he’s done is pretty impressive. So how would we beat him again? Control his strike zone is the most important thing.”
The Cubs did that just that. Baez and Bryant provided the first-inning production. Baez doubled to right on a 1-2 count. Bryant then hit a popup to left. Eloy Jimenez got a late break while battling the sun, and the ball fell in for a single. Baez read the play well and scored for the game’s first run.
The Sox put together a two-out rally to tie the game in the third. Moncada doubled, and Abreu drove him in with a single to left.
Abreu finished with two RBIs, while Moncada doubled twice and drove in one.
The Cubs sent 10 batters to the plate in the big fifth inning.
Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito heads to the dugout in the fifth at Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday. He gave up six runs against the Cubs.
Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel pumps his fist after securing the win over the White Sox.