They came. They saw. They got the holy heck beaten out of them.
The Cubs, that is. In the thick of a pennant chase, their NL Central lead precariously small, the big boys of Chicago were toyed with 10-4 by the 31-games-under-.500 White Sox.
Take a bow, South Siders. Game 1 of this three-part series is yours.
Kevan Smith got the blowout off the ground with a three-run homer off losing pitcher Jose Quintana (13-11) in the second inning. Daniel Palka added a two-run blast, the 27th of the season for the rookie.
Starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez was an even bigger star. He allowed one run in seven innings, raising his record to 7-9. It was a rare day of robust run support for the pitcher who entered the day with the fewest runs of support per nine innings (3.07) in all of baseball.
Quintana gave up five runs, all earned, on nine hits in five-plus innings in his first outing against his former team.
The Cubs got a leadoff homer from Daniel Murphy in the first inning, but they didn’t score again until a three-run eighth. Their division lead was at two games pending the Brewers’ result in Pittsburgh.
Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito will oppose Cubs left-hander Jon Lester at 6:10 p.m. Saturday. The winning team will take a 3-2 lead in the season series.