Coghlan hits 2 HRs, Cubs beat White Sox for 8th straight win
CHICAGO — Whether they're driving the ball over the wall, getting dominant starts or lockdown relief, the Chicago Cubs just keep rolling along.
Chris Coghlan hit two home runs, Anthony Rizzo also went deep, and the North siders made it eight straight wins and 14 in 15 games with a 6-5 victory over the crosstown White Sox on Friday.
''We feel like we're gonna win every game,'' Coghlan said. ''I think that's the reason why we're winning a lot of them. You can say, `I hope we win a game.' But to actually believe it and be (convinced) in it is totally different than just saying, `I hope we go win today.'''
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 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. Starlin Castro had three hits and made his first career start at second base. 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. He gave two hard pumps with his right fist toward Alexei Ramirez, who had pointed at him from second base, before walking off the field. 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.
''It hurts man,'' he said. ''I take things personally. I enjoy having success. I enjoy doing well.''
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 two 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.
ON A SLIDE
Samardzija is on his longest losing streak since he dropped four consecutive starts from April 7-24, 2013.
The White Sox paid tribute to late greats Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce by wearing 1959 era throwback jerseys. All had Minoso's No. 9.
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.
Cubs: With a career-high 17 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, RHP Jake Arrieta (13-6, 2.38 ERA) looks to keep the streak going. He is 7-1 in his past 10 starts.
White Sox: LHP Jose Quintana (6-9, 3.59) goes for his first career win against the Cubs. He is 0-2 in three starts against the North Siders.