This two-game series vs. the Cubs heading into the All-Star break marks the end of NBC Sports Chicago’s simulation of the 2020 White Sox season.
Result: White Sox def. Cubs, 8-7
Record: 56-37, 1st in AL Central (3.0 games ahead of Twins)
W: Dane Dunning (6-1)
L: Jon Lester (6-8)
SV: Alex Colome (20)
Game summary: After taking down the Cubs 10-8 in the series opener, the White Sox followed up Wednesday’s performance with another victory against the Cubs to finish their sim season. Lucas Giolito got the ball against Jon Lester and got punished early by the Cubs power bats. Javy Báez and Kyle Schwarber homered in the first to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead.
Lester did not fare well in the first either. Edwin Encarnacion led off the Sox night with a home run and Lester’s night only got worse as the South Siders scored two more in the third on a Jose Abreu single. The White Sox added three more in the fourth, capped off by a Yoan Moncada RBI single that ended Lester’s night.
After a Jason Kipnis home run brought the Cubs back within two, Tim Anderson homered to take back the three-run lead. In the sixth, Encarnacion homered again for the 35th time this season, taking the American League lead from teammate Yasmani Grandal.
Things got testy for the White Sox late when Kipnis homered for a second time and Baez followed with another homer to make it 8-7. The Sox bullpen got back on track in the eighth and ninth as former Cub Steve Cishek and closer Alex Colomé shut down the Cubs to secure the series sweep.
White Sox lineup:
Edwin Encarnacion: 4-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI (.334 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 0-3, 2 BB (.259 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 3-5, RBI (.279 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 1-3, 2B (.301 BA)
Jose Abreu: 1-4, 2 RBI (.320 BA)
Tim Anderson: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI (.271 BA)
Luis Robert: 0-3, BB (.255 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 1-4 (.285 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 1-4, RBI (.257 BA)
Javy Báez homered to left field. 1-0 CHC.
Kyle Schwarber homered to right field. 2-0 CHC.
Edwin Encarnacion homered to left field. 2-1 CHC.
Jose Abreu singled to center field, Encarnacion and Yoan Moncada scored. 3-2 CHW.
Willson Contreras homered to left field. 3-3.
Nomar Mazara singled to left field, Luis Robert scored. 4-3 CHW.
Encarnacion singled to right field, Nick Madrigal scored. 5-3 CHW.
Moncada singled to right field, Mazara scored. 6-3 CHW.
Jason Kipnis homered to right field. 6-4 CHW.
Tim Anderson homered to left field. 7-4 CHW.
Ian Happ sacrifice fly to center field, Anthony Rizzo scored. 7-5 CHW.
Encarnacion homered to left field. 8-5 CHW.
Kipnis homered to right field. 8-6 CHW.
Báez homered to left field. 8-7 CHW.
Notable performance: Colomé picked up his 20th save of the season on Thursday as he inched closer to his 2019 total of 30. Colome has converted 20 of his 24 chances this season after starting the year as a setup man to then closer Aaron Bummer.