CHICAGO (AP) — Chris Coghlan hit two home runs, Anthony Rizzo also went deep, and the Chicago Cubs made it eight straight wins and 14 in 15 games with a 6-5 victory over the crosstown White Sox on Friday.
The Cubs, coming off a 7-0 homestand, extended their longest win streak since a nine-game run during the 2008 NL Central championship season.
Coghlan hit a three-run homer in the top of the third, and then he and Rizzo added back-to-back solo drives off the struggling Jeff Samardzija (8-8) in the fifth to give the North Siders a 6-5 lead.
Dexter Fowler tripled, double and scored two runs, and the Cubs won again even though Kyle Hendricks got knocked out in the fourth inning.
Four relievers combined to shut down the White Sox the rest of the way, with Clayton Richard (3-0) working two innings.
Pedro Strop escaped a first-and-second jam in the eighth, striking out Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino to end the inning. Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.
Hendricks gave up five runs and eight hits, including a home run by Eaton, in 3 1/3 innings
But with Samardzija getting hit hard while dropping his third straight start, the White Sox came up short after sweeping three games from the Los Angeles Angels.
The longtime Cubs pitcher went six innings, allowing six runs and nine hits in his first appearance against his former team. Samardzija’s ERA in his past three starts is 12.91.
The Cubs, trailing Pittsburgh by 1 1/2 games for the first NL wild card and leading San Francisco by 4 1/2 for the second when the day began, were up 4-2 after Coghlan’s three-run homer in the third.
The White Sox answered with three in the fourth while chasing Hendricks, the big blow being a two-run homer by Eaton after Geovany Soto’s RBI single. But two swings by Coghlan and Rizzo with two out in the fifth put the Cubs back on top, 6-5.
Coghlan’s drive to center gave him two multi-homer games this season and five in his career. Rizzo followed with his 23rd homer and second in as many games when he sent a drive to right.
It was the fourth time this season and second consecutive game that the Cubs hit back-to-back homers.
Cubs: Manager Joe Maddon said RHP Rafael Soriano (right shoulder inflammation) is getting close to pitching in simulated games and will then go on a rehab assignment.
White Sox: INF Emilio Bonifacio (strained left oblique) was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and INF Leury Garcia was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.