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Outside of the fifth inning, the White Sox more or less outplayed the Cubs.
Inside the fifth inning, Lucas Giolito’s delivery fell apart, Evan Marshall couldn’t help, the Cubs scored five of their six runs, and the Sox were lucky to limit them to that much. The Sox offense fought and brought the tying run to the plate with two outs against Craig Kimbrel, but they’ll have to win to avoid losing the series and falling into a split with the Cubs through the first 122 games of the crosstown series.
Giolito didn’t look as sharp as he did in previous outings even before the fifth inning, but he contained his control burps to single batters. He allowed a run in the first that was more due to the blinding sun of a 6:15 p.m. start on Eloy Jiménez than subpar pitching, and kept the North Siders in check otherwise through four.
Then the wheels came off in the fifth. He walked three straight batters, seemingly fighting his delivery as he had a few strange hops and spins post-release. He also couldn’t locate his slider, which made him an easier target against righties. Giolito might’ve had bad luck when Kyle Schwarber doubled two home by cueing a changeup fair in short left field, but when he came with a changeup for Javier Baez, Baez was able to keep his hands back and rip it inside third base for another two-run double.
That was it for Giolito, but not for the White Sox’ control problems. Evan Marshall came and issued a walk, RBI single and walk to the three batters he faced, making it a 6-1 game.
Jace Fry came in to face the ninth batter of the inning with still nobody out, but he somehow managed to bring the inning to a swift end with no further damage. He struck out Jason Heyward, then got Robel Garcia to ground into a 5-3 double play, so he recorded three outs over six pitches.
The Sox were able to scratch together a couple runs in the seventh, and they put two on with two outs in the ninth before Abreu struck out to end the game.
Yoan Moncada was in the middle of it all.
Moncada had a fantastic game, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a pair of walks. He scored the tying run in the third after doubling with two outs and coming around on Jose Abreu’s RBI single. He then ended Jon Lester’s night on an off note by lacing a double to left that scored Charlie Tilson. Moncada took third as the relay got away from Willson Contreras with Lester not backing up, then scored when Abreu put the ball in play for a second RBI. That narrowed the lead to three, but the Sox couldn’t cut it any further.
*White Sox pitching tied a season high with nine walks, which is how the Cubs committed three errors, only outhit the Sox by one and still won by multiple runs.
*Giolito’s worst two outings this season have come against the Cubs. He’s got a 12.96 ERA against the other Chicago team, and a 2.26 ERA against everybody else.
*Steve Stone wasn’t on the Fox broadcast, but he was watching the game. His diagnosis:
*Moncada and Abreu went 4-for-8 between the second and third spots. The rest of the lineup was 2-for-25.