Right-hander Keegan Thompson did his part to keep the sluggish White Sox offense in the doldrums, pitching five innings of one-run ball and the Cubs pinned five runs on veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto in a 5-1 victory Saturday before a sellout crowd of 37,820 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel each drove in two runs for the Cubs.
The Cubs capitalized in the first inning when Wisdom’s catchable pop fly with two outs behind first baseman Jose Abreu dropped in short right field for an RBI double. Frank Schwindel then scored Wisdom with a single.
Nico Hoerner and Rafael Ortega singled to start the second and Hoerner scored on Andrelton Simmons’ ground out to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Cueto, who logged a pair of scoreless six-run starts in his first two games for the Sox, pitched into the seventh inning, when he gave up two more runs. Simmons led off with a single and went to third on Willson Contreras’ double. After an intentional walk to Ian Happ, Wisdom beat out a double play to score a run and Schwindel singled home the Cubs’ fifth run.
Jake Burger homered for the second time since getting recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Monday. The Sox were denied a run in the second when the slow footed Yasmani Grandal was thrown out easily at home on Burger’s single to Ortega in right field.
The Sox (22-23) swept the Cubs (19-26) in a two-game series at Wrigley Field May 3-4. The two teams have their final meeting of the season Sunday afternoon.
Making his third spot start, Thompson (5-0, 1.58 ERA) gave up five hits and walked one while striking out four. Thompson is one of four NL. pitchers with an ERA below 2.00 with at least
35 innings. The others are the Cardinals’ Miles Mikolas (1.96 ERA in 55 innings), the Padres’ Joe Musgrove (1.90 ERA in 52) and the Dodgers’ Tony Gonsolin (1.62 ERA in 39).
Cueto (0-1, 2.41) gave five runs on nine hits and three walks. He struck out two. He threw 98 pitches.
Adam Engel made the defensive play of the game, leaping above the center field fence to rob Contreras of a homer in the ninth.