Olt, Castro, Rizzo go deep as Cubs avoid sweep, hammer Sox 12-5
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter May 8, 2014 11:23PM
Updated: May 9, 2014 12:10AM
Mike Olt hit his first career grand slam, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo also homered and the Cubs clobbered the White Sox 12-5 to avoid a four-game sweep in the crosstown showdown finale Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Olt’s slam highlighted a five-run eighth inning against reliever Maikel Cleto, who also grazed Wellington Castillo on the shoulder with a pitch to force in a run with the bases loaded, walked three and uncorked a wild pitch.
The Cubs’ barrage against Cleto halted a scoreless streak of 23 1/3 innings for the Sox’ bullpen.
“We had some balls hit well, had some thump, so it was a good day today,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
Right-hander Scott Carroll, who was outstanding in his first two career starts for the Sox, was tagged for six runs and nine hits, including Rizzo’s seventh homer of the season and Castro’s fifth. The Cubs sent 10 men to the plate in a four-run third against the 29-year-old rookie, who struggled with his sinker.
“He just couldn’t control it tonight, and anytime he got it over the plate, they hit it hard,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Carroll and Cubs starter Jake Arrieta took their lumps. Arrieta gave up four runs (three earned) and nine hits, including RBI singles from Moises Sierra, Tyler Flowers (two RBI) and Conor Gillaspie.
Sierra, making his third start, had a tough night. He was doubled off second on Gordon Beckham’s low pop-up in the second and misjudged Rizzo’s fly ball to the warning track in right in the Cubs’ eighth. Sierra turned the wrong way on the play and got his glove on the ball, but Rizzo was awarded a double.
Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez had four hits. Slugger Jose Abreu, who has dealt with a sore left ankle off and on since spring training, didn’t finish the game, but Ventura said it’s not serious.
“He was limping around a little bit, but he says he’s fine,” Ventura said.
The Sox (18-18), who had a season-high four-game winning streak halted, took three of four from the Cubs (12-21). The crowd of 26,332 was the second-lowest in series history behind the 21,075 on Wednesday night, but it was the third-largest of the season at U.S. Cellular Field.