<
>

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 6, White Sox 5

CHICAGO -- The Cubs beat the White Sox 6-5 on Friday afternoon. Here’s a quick look at the game.

How it happened: Dexter Fowler led off the game with a triple, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Schwarber. The Sox responded with two in the bottom of the inning off starter Kyle Hendricks on an Avisail Garcia two-out double with two on. Chris Coghlan hit a three-run home run in the third inning to put the Cubs back in front, 4-2, but the Sox plated three in the fourth to retake the lead and chase Hendricks. Adam Eaton took Hendricks deep in the inning but Coghlan hit his second home run of the game and 12th of the season in the fifth to tie it, while Anthony Rizzo went deep moments later to put the Cubs in front again. It was his 23rd of the season. Hendricks lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits and five runs to go along with three walks. Starlin Castro had three hits in his first career start at second base.

What it means: The numbers weren’t pretty for Hendricks but the bullpen bailed him out. Clayton Richard was probably the MVP of the game in relief. He pitched two scoreless innings, bridging the gap to the late-inning guys. He’s been a valuable addition after being designated for assignment twice this season. At the moment he’s probably ahead of Travis Wood on the depth chart if both are rested. The Cubs’ bullpen saved the day as Justin Grimm followed Richard to the mound, then came Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon, who earned his 20th save.

The long ball has returned for the Cubs as they’ve hit eight home runs in the past two days. Coghlan proved again why he belongs in the middle of the lineup as the team improved to 12-0 when he bats third. The Cubs have won eight in a row and improved to 66-48 on the season.

Rehabbing: Before the game Cubs manager Joe Maddon said reliever Rafael Soriano (shoulder) is improving and will pitch in simulated games soon. There was nothing new to report on Neil Ramirez, who’s been out with left side injury.

What’s next: Game 2 of the series takes place on Saturday evening when the Cubs' Jake Arrieta (13-6, 2.38 ERA) takes on Jose Quintana (6-9, 3.59).