CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs played without shortstop Addison Russell after he was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife, and they were unable to overcome a shaky performance by Jose Quintana in a 10-4 loss to the crosstown White Sox on Friday.
Russell was placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball after a blog post attributed to Melisa Reidy contained detailed allegations of years of physical and emotional abuse. The 24-year-old Russell can challenge the leave before an arbitrator, and the leave can be extended for additional seven-day periods if the players’ union agrees. He continues to be paid his $3.2 million salary.
Last year, Reidy posted a photo on her Instagram account with a caption suggesting her husband of about 18 months had been unfaithful to her. In another post, a user — described by Melisa as a close friend — made the accusation that Russell had “hit” his wife. The post was later deleted. Russell denied the allegation and the two divorced.
“These allegations are completely false,” Russell said in a statement put out by the union. “I made that clear to Major League Baseball last year and reiterated it to the Cubs today. I’m confident any full and fair investigation will fully exonerate me.”
Quintana (13-11) was charged with five runs and nine hits in five-plus innings against his former team. The left-hander had been pitching well, going 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA over his previous six starts.
The Cubs began the day with a 2 1/2-game lead over second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Kevan Smith hit a three-run homer for the White Sox, who finished with 19 hits. Daniel Palka also homered at Guaranteed Rate Field, and Ryan LaMarre went 3 for 3 with three RBIs.
White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (7-9) struck out eight while pitching seven innings of one-run ball. He improved to 3-0 with a sparkling 0.79 ERA in his last five outings.
Daniel Murphy led off the game with his 12th homer, but the White Sox went ahead to stay with three in the second. Matt Davidson and Welington Castillo before Smith hit a drive to center for his second of the year.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria sent Palka up to hit for Smith in the sixth, and he responded with a two-run shot for a 6-1 lead.
Castillo and Yoan Moncada also had three hits, helping the White Sox even their crosstown series with the Cubs at two games apiece.
Murphy had three hits and David Bote had two RBIs for the Cubs, who dropped their second straight.
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein didn’t want to speculate on Russell’s future with the team.
Russell is batting .158 with one RBI in 18 games in September. Manager Joe Maddon said Russell was playing well defensively, but wouldn’t speculate whether off-field issues were affecting him at the plate.
Cubs: OF Kyle Schwarber (lower back) returned to the lineup as the DH after missing nine games.
White Sox: INF Jose Abreu (right thigh infection) missed his fourth straight game. He was scheduled to be re-evaluated by doctors later on Friday. Abreu was treated for the condition, caused by an ingrown hair, at a Cleveland hospital on Tuesday. “I’m still a little sore, but I am feeling a little better,” he said through a translator.
Cubs LHP Jon Lester (16-6, 3.43 ERA) takes the mound against White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (10-11, 5.77 ERA) on Saturday. Lester is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last five starts.
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