Cubs hit three home runs in blowout win over White Sox
|Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 11:18 PM- -|
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs (60-40) were shut out by the Chicago White Sox (50-51) in game two of the Crosstown Classic on Tuesday night, so it came as no surprise that the North Siders, who own the best record in the Major Leagues, stepped it up in Wednesday’s game. After two games at U.S. Cellular Field on the south side of Chi-Town, the interleague battle transitioned to Wrigley Field for the third game. The Cubs were held scoreless for the first time in 48 games in the second game, but Wednesday’s matchup saw the Cubs return to offensive form and claim an 8-1 victory.
Starting at pitcher for the White Sox in tonight’s game was Anthony Ranaudo, making his first start for the Sox. Recently called up to replace suspended ace/temperamental fashion connoisseur Chris Sale, Ranaudo was fantastic on the mound in the early innings. However, his biggest impact was made at the plate, as the 26-year-old collected his first professional hit by way of a home run over the ivy-covered wall in right field. Adding to the mystique of the moment, Ranaudo’s homer was the first by an American League pitcher this season.
Up 1-0 after Ranaudo’s fifth-inning round-tripper, the White Sox would quickly see that lead dissipate, as the Cubs began a torrid scoring affair in the bottom of the sixth. Third baseman Kris Bryant hit a home run to left-center, his 26th of the year, which is tied for the second-most in the National League. Second baseman Javier Baez, who has been playing really well out of the All-Star break, hit a moonshot of his own to give the Cubs their first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh. A two-run dinger, Baez’ home run chased Ranaudo from the game.
The power-hitting continued for the Cubs in the ensuing inning, with Ben Zobrist, who was playing in left field on the evening, crushing a double towards the wall in left-center that scored Bryant and provided the Cubs with a 4-1 lead. Soon after, short stop Addison Russell virtually sealed the win for the Cubs by booming a grand slam to left-center, which resulted in a dugout curtain call for the All-Star infielder. The grand slam was the first of Russell's big league career.
Despite the fact that his team was leading 8-1 heading into the ninth inning, Cubs manager Joe Maddon chose not to delay the debut of the North Siders’ new closer, Aroldis Chapman, any longer. Acquired via a trade earlier this week, the fireballer breezed through the White Sox hitters whom he faced to finish off the Cubs’ 8-1 victory.
Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel earned the win on Wednesday after pitching seven innings of five-hit ball and accruing seven strikeouts. The Cubs only garnered one more hit than the White Sox in tonight’s game, but the three home runs for the North Siders did the trick. The finale of the Crosstown Classic will commence tomorrow night at Wrigley Field, with John Lackey of the Cubs set to square off against Sale in his return from the Jerseygate suspension.