Eloy Jimenez of the Chicago White Sox hits the game-winning, two run home run in the 9th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 18, 2019. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO (AP) - Eloy Jimenez hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the ninth inning in his first game against his first major league organization, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The 22-year-old Jimenez was a top prospect for the Cubs before he headlined a rare trade with the White Sox for veteran left-hander Jose Quintana in July 2017. The Jimenez deal will live on in sports bars all over Chicago for many years to come, and the rookie added another wrinkle with one big swing in his first game at Wrigley Field.
James McCann hit a leadoff single before Jimenez drove a 1-0 pitch from Pedro Strop (1-3) over the wall in left for his 12th homer. Considered one of baseball's top young sluggers, Jimenez has gone deep six times in his last nine games.
Evan Marshall (3-0) got two outs for the win and Alex Colome worked the ninth for his 15th save in 15 chances. Four White Sox relievers combined for four scoreless innings after Ivan Nova turned in one of his best starts of the season.
The slumping Cubs kicked off a 10-game homestand with their fourth loss in their last five games. Kyle Schwarber connected for his 16th homer and Cole Hamels pitched seven sparkling innings, but that was it for the North Siders.
Hamels became the 10th left-hander with 2,500 career strikeouts when he threw a called third strike past Nova for the first out of the third. The crowd responded with a big cheer when his accomplishment was displayed on the videoboard, and Hamels waved his cap in appreciation.
Jimenez had a chance to get the White Sox off to a fast start when he batted with the bases loaded in the first. But Hamels got him to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Schwarber then lined Nova's first pitch of the game into the bleachers in left for his fourth career leadoff homer. He also started Thursday's 7-3 loss to the Dodgers with a home run on Clayton Kershaw's first pitch.
The White Sox tied it in the sixth. Leury Garcia led off with a double and Tim Anderson followed with a hard grounder into the hole at shortstop. Javier Baez made a sliding stop, but he threw wild to first and Garcia hustled home on the error.
Craig Kimbrel took another step toward joining the Cubs when he worked a perfect inning in his first appearance with Triple-A Iowa. The 31-year-old Kimbrel is ramping up after finalizing a three-year contract with Chicago on June 7. The closer could pitch in another minor league game Thursday or Friday.
White Sox: INF Yoan Moncada entered as a defensive replacement in the sixth after his recent trouble with upper back tightness flared up during Sunday's 10-3 loss to the Yankees. Moncada had missed the previous four games before returning for the series finale against New York. "He's markedly better," manager Rick Renteria said. ... C Welington Castillo was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left oblique. LH reliever Jace Fry was reinstated from the IL after being sidelined by shoulder soreness, and catching prospect Zack Collins was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte.
Cubs: General manager Jed Hoyer said the team will use a patient approach with Kyle Hendricks after tests confirmed the right-hander is dealing with a shoulder impingement. Hendricks was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday, one day after he permitted five runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to NL West-leading Los Angeles. Tyler Chatwood will take Hendricks' turn in the rotation Thursday against the Mets.
White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (10-1, 2.22 ERA) looks to continue his win streak when he faces struggling Cubs left-hander Jon Lester (5-5, 4.08 ERA) on Wednesday night. Giolito is 8-0 with a sparkling 0.94 ERA in his last eight starts. Lester surrendered a season-high three homers in a 7-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.