Cubs handle Jeff Samardzija, take opener from White Sox

SHARE Cubs handle Jeff Samardzija, take opener from White Sox
SHARE Cubs handle Jeff Samardzija, take opener from White Sox

The Cubs have had an impressive August. This month has been poor for Jeff Samardzija.

Both continued Friday.

Facing his former team for the first time, Samardzija allowed six runs, nine hits, and three home runs in six innings and the Cubs beat the White Sox 6-5 in the opener of the teams’ three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. Despite a rough outing from Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs won their eighth straight and 14th in 15, continuing one of the franchise’s best runs in recent memory.

Things aren’t going as well for Samardzija (8-8), who was supported by a two-run fourth-inning homer from Adam Eaton but labored in his first start against the Cubs since being dealt to Oakland in July of last year.

Subject to trade speculation before the July 31 deadline, Samardzija has struggled since the Sox decided to hold onto the pending free agent. He’s allowed 22 earned runs in three starts this month, and on Friday surrendered a pair of homers to Chris Coghlan and the go-ahead drive to Anthony Rizzo in the fifth on his way to dropping his third August decision.

Before the game, Robin Ventura was asked if Samardzija was actually viewing Friday like any other game.

“I’m sure in his mind to prepare it’s probably that way,” Ventura said. “I don’t think he’s ever that way when he goes out on the mound. For him, and I think for any guy that’s been a part of this, it’s different. I know it’s different.”

Friday was different than the usual Cubs-Sox games for many reasons. One was its Aug. 14 place on the calendar – the latest regularly scheduled start of a crosstown series – meaning the matchup had playoff implications in front of an announced crowd of 36,386.

The teams were also honoring legends Ernie Banks, Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce. The Cubs wore throwback uniforms to celebrate the memory of Banks, while the Sox donned 1950s-era uniforms in honor of Minoso and Pierce. All Sox players wore Minoso’s 9, which was retired in 1983.

“Yes, this game has a different meaning because it’s the city rivalry and it’s very special,” Alexei Ramirez said through a translator. “And especially in this series because today we’re going to honor Minnie, and it’s more special the others.”

Hendricks lasted only 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs, eight hits and three walks while throwing 86 pitches, but the Cubs evened the season series at 2-2. Clayton Richard earned the win and Hector Rondon picked up his 20th save in 24 chances.

The Sox had a chance in the eighth but Tyler Saladino struck out to leave two men on base, leading to Pedro Strop uncorking two emotional and elongated fist pumps.

Starlin Castro, starting at second base for the first time in his career, was 3 for 4, and Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a first-inning double.

Avisail Garcia drove in two runs and Geovany Soto also had an RBI.

The Latest
Lesly Morales fue vista por última vez el 21 de abril, según un reporte de personas desaparecidas del Departamento de Policía de Chicago.
La banda mexicana realiza dos conciertos en Chicago y Berwyn esta semana. Las entradas empiezan a $15.
La mayoría de los residentes aplicaron para el programa piloto en la primera semana que se aceptaron solicitudes.
It made the intense heat sweeping through India and Pakistan 30 times more likely to occur — and future warming would make heat waves more common and hotter.
The women were left vulnerable inside a building that was like a “brick oven,” an attorney representing the family of one of the women said Tuesday.