Sat, 24 Oct 2020

Cubs clinch NL Central but fall to White Sox

Field Level Media
27 Sep 2020, 12:55 GMT+10

Jose Abreu drilled a go-ahead, bases-clearing double in the fourth inning and James McCann and Yoan Moncada homered to lift the host Chicago White Sox past the Chicago Cubs 9-5 on Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak.

Despite suffering their sixth loss in seven games, the Cubs (33-26) clinched the National League Central when the St. Louis Cardinals lost earlier in the night. It's the Cubs' third division title in the past five seasons and first since 2017.

The White Sox (35-24) still could join the Cubs as division champs. The White Sox remained one game behind the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins entering Sunday's regular-season finale and are one game ahead of the third-place Cleveland Indians. Chicago owns the tiebreaker on Minnesota, but Cleveland holds the tiebreaker on Chicago.

Moncada, Abreu, McCann and Nick Madrigal had two hits apiece for the White Sox, with Abreu and Moncada both driving in three runs. The White Sox outhit the Cubs 10-5.

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, smacking a third-inning grand slam that gave Chicago a 5-2 lead.

Bryant was back in the lineup for the first time since Monday at Pittsburgh, when he tweaked his right oblique on a swing. Bryant contended with various other injuries as the season progressed, including a back issue during Summer Camp and ailments related to his left elbow, wrist and finger during the truncated regular season.

The White Sox defeated Cubs starter Jon Lester for the second time this season, reaching the left-hander for seven runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Lester walked three and struck out three, but his struggles with command added up in the fourth.

Before Abreu's big hit to greet reliever Ryan Tepera, two Lester walks and a McCann single loaded the bases for Madrigal, who hit a run-scoring infield single. Moncada worked a bases-loaded walk to bring in a run two batters later and chase Lester from the game.

Matt Foster (6-1) pitched a perfect fourth to earn the victory.

White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing managed in place of Rick Renteria, who was suspended for one game after reliever Jimmy Cordero intentionally hit Cubs catcher Willson Contreras with a pitch during Friday's game. Cordero received a three-game suspension.

White Sox rookie right-hander Dane Dunning took a no-decision after allowing five runs -- four earned -- and three hits in three innings with three walks, two strikeouts and a hit by pitch.

--Field Level Media

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