CHICAGO (AP) — Willson Contreras homered twice and drove in five runs, and the Chicago Cubs handed Lucas Giolito his first loss since April by downing the Chicago White Sox 7-3 on Wednesday night.
David Bote also connected to help the Cubs bounce back from a tough loss to their crosstown rivals in their first meeting of the season. Jon Lester (6-5) allowed two more homers, but worked into the sixth inning to improve to 3-1 in June.
Trying for his ninth win in a row, Giolito (10-2) showed flashes of the dominant stuff that put him in the mix to start next month’s All-Star Game in Cleveland. He struck out Kris Bryant three times and fanned Kyle Schwarber twice on a rainy, unseasonably cold night at Wrigley Field.
But Giolito had all sorts of trouble against Contreras.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the first on Schwarber’s leadoff double and a pair of walks, and Contreras drove a 1-2 changeup into the basket in left field for his third career grand slam. The fiery Contreras yelled and motioned to the crowd as he rounded the bases after his 14th homer.
Giolito allowed a total of four runs in 29 innings over his previous four starts.
Contreras batted again with two outs in the third and sent a solo shot into the bleachers in left, giving the Cubs a 5-1 lead. He walked in the fifth before Josh Osich got the last two outs of the inning.
Giolito allowed six runs and seven hits, struck out nine and walked three in his first loss since April 6 against Seattle. The 6-foot-6 right-hander went 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his previous 11 starts.
Leury García homered on Lester’s first pitch, and James McCann also went deep for the White Sox. Yolmer Sánchez finished with three hits.
Eloy Jiménez was held in check one night after he hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the ninth against his first major league organization, lifting the White Sox to a 3-1 win. The rookie slugger went 0 for 3 with a walk and scored a run.
Yoán Moncada’s RBI double trimmed the Cubs’ lead to 5-3 in the fourth. The White Sox had a chance for more with runners on second and third, but Lester struck out Giolito and retired García to end the inning.
Lester allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one in 5 2/3 innings. He has given up seven homers in his last three starts.
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