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Robert home run, strong bullpen lift Sox past Cubs for 5-3 win


The Cubs are craving some playoff pressure, so bringing the White Sox north with a healthy contingent of fans isn’t a bad simulation.

Luis Robert Jr., who missed the previous two games with a finger injury, blasted a long home run off Julian Merryweather in top of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie. The ball just missed sailing onto Waveland Avenue.

Andrew Benintendi’s RBI double in the top of the ninth added an insurance run and the White Sox won 5-3 at Wrigley Field. Last month, the Cubs won twice on the South Side.

“We know the pressure’s on us out there,” Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks said. “You want pressure, that means there’s something riding on it. We go out there every single day and we want that feeling. We’re in the second half of August now, it’s a sprint to the end. We can see where we’re headed now. No taking our foot off the gas or getting fatigued.”

The Cubs are in a stretch where they’re playing a string of games against teams below .500, but there usually are no easy wins in the city series.

“We know these games are always going to be big, for the city and everything,” Hendricks said. “Both teams always show up. This is bragging rights for the rest of the year for the whole city, for those fans.



“We’re not taking anybody lightly. Anyone that comes in here, we know we’ve got to win every game. It’s the big leagues, these guys are all great players and great teams.”

There was a strange ejection, featuring manager David Ross. Everything seemed to be calm as the Cubs took the field to start the top of the seventh inning. But then third-base umpire Tripp Gibson, who wasn’t even near the Cubs dugout, ejected Ross.

The two then got into a heated argument as Ross exited the dugout. Plate umpire Mark Carlson hustled down the baseline to get between the two before Ross headed down the stairs with his fifth ejection of the season.

“We had a disagreement, me and the umpire,” Ross said. “Just a battle I didn’t win.”

Ross wouldn’t elaborate on what caused the dispute, except to say it wasn’t tied to a strikeout to Suzuki the previous inning. Kyle Hendricks said the Cubs felt there was a blatant balk that wasn’t called.



The Cubs have been nearly unbeatable lately using their lineup against right-handed pitchers, with Mike Tauchman leading off and two more dangerous left-handed hitters, Cody Bellinger and Jeimer Candelario, deeper in the order.

The Sox managed to limit the damage using right-handed starter Touki Toussaint, then a pair of left-handed relievers. Tauchman walked in the first inning and scored ahead of Ian Happ’s home run. But the Sox held Tauchman and Bellinger hitless, while Candelario managed a harmless single.

Bellinger is actually the Cubs’ best hitter against left-handed pitchers. The Sox went left vs. left to start the eighth inning and Bellinger turned on an Aaron Bummer sweeper, but it didn’t carry and Oscar Colas caught it just in front of the wall.

Hendricks pulled off an impressive turnaround on the mound. During the first two innings, he gave up 3 runs to the White Sox on 5 singles and a walk. When Yoan Moncada doubled with one out in the third, it looked like this would be a long night for the Cubs bullpen.

But Hendricks got out of the third inning with no damage, then cruised through the middle innings, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced. The final result counted as a quality start, as Hendricks completed 6 innings with 3 runs and 7 hits allowed.

“I was kind of relying too much on down-and-away, going to my change up too quickly,” he said. “Need to throw some strikes in, maybe use my curve ball a little more. I was just getting a little too predictable.”

The Cubs used the longball to get back in the game. Two disappointing run-producers got into the act, with Happ hitting a 2-run homer in the first inning and Seiya Suzuki tying the game with a solo shot in the fourth.

Otherwise, the Cubs couldn’t zero in on Toussaint. He threw five different pitches, but kept hitters off balance by alternating his slow curve with the splitter.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports



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