6 HRs, 6 straight wins: White Sox rout Cubs – MLB.com

CHICAGO — The White Sox have gone with a “Change the Game” marketing slogan for the 2020 season, backing up the organization’s move from rebuild to contention.
But after manager Rick Renteria’s crew ran through the Cubs, 10-1, Friday night at Wrigley Field, they might want to incorporate a few

CHICAGO — The White Sox have gone with a “Change the Game” marketing slogan for the 2020 season, backing up the organization’s move from rebuild to contention.

But after manager Rick Renteria’s crew ran through the Cubs, 10-1, Friday night at Wrigley Field, they might want to incorporate a few of the old catchphrases, such as “The Kids Can Play” or “South Side Hitmen.” Both of them apply, after the White Sox knocked out six home runs in their sixth straight victory.

Box score

“We’re getting into ABs, taking pitches, putting good swings on the ball, making them come to us, instead of us going to them,” said White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal, who knocked out one of the six home runs that established a single-game record in the history of the rivalry with the Cubs. “You can see what happens when we have a good game plan, we stick to it and we’re able to execute.”

“It feels fun, fun to watch, fun to enjoy what my teammates do,” said White Sox left fielder Eloy Jiménez, who also went — very — deep. “We just try to go out and enjoy the game, and you see the result. It’s pretty good to have that lineup now. Last year it was good. But this year it’s better.”

Cubs starter Jon Lester actually made it through a perfect first on 11 pitches, but the White Sox treated the veteran like their own batting-practice pitcher from that point forward. Luis Robert launched a two-run home run in the second, and José Abreu drove out a three-run blast in the third. Abreu added a solo homer in the ninth — marking the 186th of his career and bringing him within two of passing Magglio Ordonez for fifth place in franchise history. Abreu also has 634 RBIs, moving him past Sherm Lollar for 11th place all-time.

Danny Mendick and Grandal added home runs in the fourth, bringing an early end to Lester’s evening.

They’re confident against lefties. They’re swinging the bat well against them,” Lester said. “And if you’re not executing, if you’re in there for 100 pitches and you’re not executing 99 of them, they’re going to make you pay. It’s an impressive lineup.

“You just hope that the other guy doesn’t pitch as well as [Dallas Keuchel] did tonight. Hopefully, you can outpitch the other guy. That’s kind of what you’re hoping right now with their lineup.”

Jiménez, who hit the game-winning homer in his first Wrigley Field appearance in 2019, launched a 466-foot homer in the seventh. The White Sox struggled offensively at the start of last weekend with eight hits in their first 18 innings against the Cardinals. Since then, they have scored 47 runs on 62 hits in 45 innings and knocked out 22 home runs. Meanwhile, they have allowed one run in the last 22 innings.

Keuchel only needed a little of that support to pick up his fourth White Sox victory, allowing six hits and one run over eight innings and 114 pitches. He fanned three and recorded 12 outs via the ground ball to shut down the National League Central leaders.

“This team is good enough, and you have perennial All-Stars and MVP-type talent on the Cubs,” Keuchel said. “It was nice to see [Kris] Bryant out of the lineup for myself. You just fill in another guy who is a quality dude, and I was just thankful to make some pitches. But, man, I felt great.”

“He wanted it. He wanted to keep going,” said Renteria of Keuchel. “You have an opportunity to let a guy that’s been wanting to eat up a few more innings and continue to build up. He felt good, and we allowed him to go ahead and do it.”

If exhibition and Cactus League games are factored in, the White Sox sit at 4-0 against the Cubs in 2020. The White Sox also improved to 7-0 against left-handed starters, 9-3 on the road and reached five over .500 at 16-11 for the first time since they were 27-22 in 2016.

With Minnesota and Cleveland both losing, the White Sox moved within a half-game of second and one game out of first in the American League Central. They did so by making a definitive statement against their crosstown rival.

“For us to do what we did tonight is a big step forward — but then again, you think about it, we still have a lot of games left,” Keuchel said. “We need to make sure we remember, ‘Hey, this is only Game 20-something out of 60,’ even if it’s a shortened season.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.