The White Sox have the best lineup in Chicago right now. That much can be said.
Saturday's Cubs-White Sox game was closer than Friday's, but the end result was the same. The White Sox homer-happy lineup drilled five long balls a day after hitting six in a 7-4 win at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs lineup was quiet for most of Saturday, managing six hits — three straight in the eighth — continuing what has been a cold period dating back to last Friday.
Some quick takes from Saturday:
The White Sox have been thriving off the home run ball lately, hitting six on Friday, and that continued on Saturday. José Abreu hit three after hitting two Friday, Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez hit their second in as many days and Yasmani Grandal added another.
Kyle Hendricks kept the Cubs in the game, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. But the Sox lineup made him work as he threw 92 pitches in just 5 1/3 innings, ending his night early.
The two homers Hendricks allowed were sinkers that leaked out over the plate. Abreu’s second homer, off Rowan Wick, came on a hung curveball. Grandal hit a 1-2 fastball left up in the zone.
The Cubs started the game 2-for-23 before stringing three straight hits together in the eighth, driving in a run. Dating back to last Friday’s loss against Milwaukee, they’re 56-for-291 (.192) offensively.
Cubs shortstop Javier Báez made a few uncharacteristic plays on defense, albeit none resulting in any damage.
In the third, Báez fielded a potential 6-4-3 double play ball. His exchange to second base carried Jason Kipnis towards center field, and a hustling Eloy Jiménez beat out Kipnis’ relay to first.
The Cubs got out of the inning a batter later on a strange play. Báez’ throw on an Edwin Encarnación ground ball carried Anthony Rizzo up the line and into foul territory. Rizzo made a quick snap tag to get the out, and Encarnación avoided a collision with umpire Laz Díaz after.
“I’ve heard that narrative. I wanna kick everyone’s butt on the other side. It doesn’t matter what uniform they have on. A big part of winning and success that I’ve been a part of is that you come to kick everyone’s butt on a daily basis.” – David Ross on notion White Sox take Crosstown Classic more seriously
The Cubs and Sox conclude the first leg of the Crosstown Classic Sunday at Wrigley Field. Yu Darvish and former Cubs prospect Dylan Cease are the probable starters. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m.