CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs ace Yu Darvish is rolling.
Not even the slugging White Sox could take him down.
Darvish struck out 10 in his career-high fifth consecutive victory, and the Cubs beat the White Sox 2-1 on Sunday to stop the South Siders’ seven-game win streak.
“Seeing what he did out there was spectacular,” teammate Kyle Schwarber said.
Schwarber hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning as the Cubs won for just the fourth time in their last 11 games. The NL Central leaders were outscored 17-5 in the first two games of the series.
“What I was trying to do, when I tried to throw a chase pitch — slider, cutter mixed in — that works,” Darvish said. “But when I tried to go fastball in or sinker in, they hit real well.”
José Abreu went deep for the White Sox in the second, matching a major league record with a home run in four consecutive at-bats. Abreu connected five times in the first two games against the Cubs, including three homers and four RBIs in Saturday night’s 7-4 win.
“I’m never satisfied with what I do,” Abreu said through a translator. “I always think I can do better, I can do more. That’s why I work so hard.”
The White Sox have hit 28 homers over their last eight games. They blasted 12 in the weekend set at Wrigley Field.
Darvish (5-1) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings. He is 5-0 with a 1.09 ERA since he struggled in his first start of the year against Milwaukee on July 25.
“I don’t want to think about that. I don’t care, just focusing next pitch,” Darvish said about potentially being in the NL Cy Young Award discussion.
Jeremy Jeffress got four outs for his third save, escaping jams in each of the last two innings.
Jeffress replaced Craig Kimbrel with runners on first and second in the eighth and retired Eloy Jiménez on a liner to center. He got Yoán Moncada to ground out with the bases loaded in the ninth.
Schwarber had two of the Cubs’ five hits. Javier Báez doubled and scored on Schwarber’s fifth homer.
Abreu led off the second with a 449-foot drive to left-center. His home run streak ended with a groundout in the fourth.
Abreu became the first player in White Sox history to hit five home runs in two games when he smacked two Friday and a career-high three Saturday.
White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease (4-2) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings in his first game against his former team. He had won his last four starts.
The Cubs drafted Cease in 2014 before trading the pitcher and Jiménez to the White Sox for pitcher José Quintana in 2017.
“I think we’re a team that needs to be taken serious and I think they’re a great team too,” Cease said. “It’s one of those series where we had two big teams clash with each other and it was a lot of fun to watch.”
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said he remains optimistic but didn’t provide a timeline for his return after landing on the 10-day IL Saturday with a sprained left finger. He injured the finger and his left wrist while trying to make a diving catch at Cleveland on Aug. 12.
The 2016 NL MVP is batting .177 in 16 games.
“The hardest part is to balance that mental side of getting through pain or an injury, especially with games running out,” Bryant said. “You’ve just got to accept it for what it is and take the time to get better.”
The Cubs brought up outfielder Ian Miller from their alternate training site in South Bend, Indiana. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander James Norwood (right shoulder inflammation) was transferred to the 45-day IL. Infielder Patrick Wisdom was signed to a minor league contract and assigned to South Bend.
Cubs: RHP Tyler Chatwood’s bullpen session went well Saturday, manager David Ross said. Chatwood (back) and Quintana (thumb surgery) are candidates to start Tuesday against Detroit.
White Sox: After an off day, RHP Lucas Giolito (2-2, 3.89 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday against Pittsburgh and LHP Steven Brault (0-0, 3.00 ERA) to open a two-game series. Giolito matched a career-high 13 strikeouts in his last start Thursday against Detroit.
Cubs: RHP Alec Mills (2-2, 4.76 ERA) will make his first career start against Detroit and RHP Casey Mize (0-0, 6.23 ERA) to open a three-game road series Monday. Mills has lost two straight and threw only 3 2/3 innings against St. Louis in his last start.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports