Cubs blow six-run lead in ugly loss to White Sox

The Cubs took a 6-0 lead in the first inning but couldn’t hold it in a 17-13 loss to the White Sox.

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It seemed as if things were going to go the Cubs’ way Friday night against the White Sox after the first inning.

But what appeared to be a long night ahead for their crosstown rivals turned into a long night for the Cubs, who fell 17-13.

The Cubs jumped on Sox starter Dallas Keuchel, who had no answers against their lineup in the first inning.

Michael Hermosillo and Frank Schwindel reached base, bringing the powerful Patrick Wisdom to the plate.  

Wisdom, who celebrated his 30th birthday Friday, opened the scoring by launching a massive shot to the concourse in left field, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead. With his 448-foot blast, Wisdom became the first Cub to homer on his birthday since Aramis Ramirez did it on June 25, 2011, in Kansas City.

But that would only be the beginning. After scoring three runs without making an out, the Cubs would do the rest of their damage with two outs in the inning. Robinson Chirinos had an RBI double and Andrew Romine an RBI single to make it 5-0.  

The Cubs closed their impressive first inning with some creativity. For the second time in a week, they pulled off a double steal with runners at first and third. Jason Heyward scored to give the Cubs a 6-0 lead as the Sox airmailed the throw to the plate.

“These guys have fought to the end a lot,” manager David Ross said this week. “Sometimes, the pitching gets the best of us, but the effort, the intent and the focus is there. We’re gonna make some mistakes. But the way this group goes about it, they’re locked into every pitch and engaged.”

But, similar to their loss Wednesday to the Rockies, the Cubs proved incapable of holding on to a big lead.

Starter Keegan Thompson didn’t have much to offer against the Sox. He allowed a leadoff double to Tim Anderson before Jose Abreu’s RBI single made it 6-1. Then after he made it through the second inning unscathed, the wheels came off in the third.

Thompson, who never found any rhythm, allowed the first four batters to reach, and doubles by Luis Robert and Abreu trimmed the Cubs’ lead to 6-2. Thompson’s night came to a close after an error by Romine and an RBI single by Yoan Moncada made it 6-3.

Things didn’t get better for right-hander Adrian Sampson, who came on in relief of Thompson. Yasmani Grandal greeted Sampson with a no-doubt three-run homer to tie the score at 6.

The Sox continued their big inning, scoring three more runs on the second error of the game by Romine and a two-run single by Eloy Jimenez that made it 9-6. They poured it on with a four-run fifth inning before scoring an additional run in the seventh to make it 14-7. The Cubs scored three runs in the eighth to cut the lead to 14-10, but Grandal added another three-run blast in the eighth. Wisdom homered again in the ninth.

The last time the Cubs blew a six-run, first-inning lead was on June 30 in a 14-7 loss to the Brewers.

The first two starts for Thompson in August have left a lot to be desired. After not allowing an earned run in four minor-league starts before rejoining the Cubs in August, he has allowed six earned runs in his last six innings.

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