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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

Schwarber powers Cubs past White Sox

By Tom Musick, The Sports Xchange | Jul 28, 2017

CHICAGO – Make no mistake, Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber enjoys his home run trots.

However, when the 235-pound slugger gets an opportunity to showcase his athleticism and slide into third base with a rare triple, his smile is as broad as his shoulders.

“Hey man, whenever the big fella can leg out a triple, it’s good,” Schwarber said with a chuckle.

On Thursday night, Schwarber did it all for the Cubs in a 6-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. He finished 3-for-4 with a triple, two home runs and four RBIs in one of his best performances of the season.

Anthony Rizzo also homered as the Cubs won their ninth consecutive road game. The Cubs (54-47) climbed a season-high seven games above .500 and took three out of four games from the White Sox to win the annual crosstown series for the first time since 2013.

After an up-and-down first half, the Cubs are 11-2 since the All-Star break.

“We like where we’re at,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We like the feeling.”

A significant reason for the Cubs’ positive feeling has to do with Schwarber’s resurgence. Schwarber slumped so badly during the first half that he was demoted to Triple-A Iowa to work on his swing. Since being recalled in early July, he is hitting .280 (14-for-50) with five home runs and eight RBIs in 15 games.

Schwarber capped his fourth career multiple-homer game when he crushed a solo shot into the right field bleachers in the eighth inning to make it 6-2. The blast marked Schwarber’s 17th home run of the season, exceeding his rookie total of 16 home runs in 2015.

Two innings earlier, he drilled an opposite-field line drive off the left field wall for a triple. It was the second triple of his career and his first triple since June 17, 2015.

“I just want to worry about putting the barrel on the ball and making consistent contact,” Schwarber said. “I’m trying to stay within myself and be short (with my swing), and it’s paying off.”

Jose Abreu homered twice in a losing effort. Willy Garcia also hit a solo home run for the White Sox (39-60), who lost for the 12th time in the past 13 games.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Abreu deserved praise for his leadership on and off the field during a massive rebuild of the major league roster.

“This man has been continually gaining the respect of his teammates,” Renteria said. “He’s been slowly taking on that role over the course of the season.”

Cubs left-hander Jon Lester (8-6) allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings.

Lester has won three starts in a row, which is his best stretch of the season.

White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-8) gave up five runs on six hits in five innings.

“Obviously, I’d like to go a lot deeper,” Pelfrey said. “It’s been kind of a concern all year.”

The White Sox grabbed a 1-0 lead on a solo shot by Garcia in the third inning.

Rizzo evened the score at 1 in the fourth with his team-leading 24th home run. Pelfrey elevated a pitch over the plate, and Rizzo turned on it for a towering shot that traveled an estimated 432 feet.

After Willson Contreras drew a walk as the next batter, Schwarber hit a two-run, opposite-field home run to put the Cubs on top 3-1.

The White Sox struck back on a booming home run by Abreu to trim the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth.

Bryant increased the Cubs’ lead to 4-2 with a sacrifice fly that scored Albert Almora in the fifth. Schwarber drove in the next two runs with a triple and a home run.

“Right now, the game is slowing down again (for him),” Maddon said. “His confidence is building.”

Abreu finished the scoring with a blast to straightaway center field for his second home run of the game and his 18th of the season.

NOTES: The White Sox dealt LHP Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays for minor league 1B Casey Gillaspie. Jennings, 30, went 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 48 games for Chicago. ... Cubs OF Jon Jay remained in the game despite being hit in the helmet by a pitch in the sixth inning. ... White Sox OF Avisail Garcia (sprained right thumb) was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to July 26. ... Cubs OF Kyle Schwarber served as designated hitter for the second straight game. ... White Sox LHP Aaron Bummer made his major league debut in the eighth, and he allowed one run in one inning. The team purchased Bummer’s contract from Triple-A Charlotte to fill Jennings’ roster spot.


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