Schwarber’s homer, 4 RBI power Cubs past White Sox
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Cubs leadoff man Kyle Schwarber belted a three-run homer in the third inning and added an RBI single in a three-run sixth in the Cubs’ 7-3 victory over the White Sox Friday at Camelback Ranch.
The towering shot not far from the right-field foul pole was the left-handed hitting Schwarber’s second homer of the spring, this one coming against lefty starter Derek Holland, who breezed through the first seven batters of the Cubs’ regular lineup before walking Tommy La Stella and Jon Jay.
That’s when Schwarber connected.
“I was upset with the lefties, two walks,” said Holland, who was charged with six runs on four hits and three walks. “Hats off to [Schwarber].”
After Schwarber’s RBI single in the sixth, Kris Bryant drove in two more to make it 6-1 Cubs.
Tyler Saladino tripled and scored on a single by former Cub Geovany Soto, and Nicky Delmonico homered for the Sox.
White Sox prospect Michael Kopech struck out five in two scoreless innings.
Kopech, one of the prospects acquired in the Chris Sale trade, struck out Jason Heyward, La Stella, Jay Ian Happ and Jeimer Candelario. The Cubs brought the first sellout crowd for the Sox at Camelback and Kopech fed off the energy.
“It was the way that [catcher Geovany] Soto took me under his wing today,’’ Kopech said. “I came out there and the first thing he said was ‘Let’s have fun. Let’s get after it.” The way he was calling pitches and aggressive with me behind the plate, that made me more aggressive toward hitters.’’
Kopech, 20, will likely start the season at Class A Winston-Salem. He has 11 strikeouts in six innings this spring.
The Cubs are 8-9-4 this spring while the Sox are 11-9-1.
The crosstown rivals will play each other in four interleague games this season.