Cubs power up with 3 HRs to surge past Sox

Cubs power up with 3 HRs to surge past Sox

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon's doorman won't have to take any grief from his White Sox friends, at least for one day. Kris Bryant hit a solo homer, Javier Baez smacked a tiebreaking two-run blast in the seventh and Addison Russell added his first career grand slam in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman had an impressive debut to lift the Cubs to an 8-1 Interleague victory over the White Sox on Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

Anthony Ranaudo gave White Sox fans something to cheer about in the fifth when he collected his first career hit and home run off Cubs starter Jason Hammel. Ranaudo threw five no-hit innings, which Bryant ended with his blast with one out in the sixth.

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

"I set the bar pretty high for myself," Ranaudo said. "I don't want to say I knew I was going to go out there and hit a home run or throw five no-hit innings or whatever, but I have high expectations for myself."

Ranaudo's unique White Sox debut

Chapman entered in the ninth, and his first pitch was a 101-mph strike. He struck out Jose Abreu on a slider, got Todd Frazier to ground out and struck out Avisail Garcia in a perfect inning. Chapman's last pitch registered at 103 mph.

Aroldis leaves Cubs in awe with perfect debut

"It's entertaining to watch the gun," Maddon said. "You're looking to get the win, but it's different. He's a different kind of pitcher. You see that every 100 years or so. Everyone talks about the fastball, but his slider is devastating."

Chapman's perfect Cubs debut

Both Baez and Russell made curtain calls in front of the crowd of 41,166 at Wrigley Field. The White Sox lead the crosstown series, 2-1, with one more meeting on Thursday at Wrigley Field. Maddon said this showdown has been tough on his doorman as far as bragging rights in the city. This was the Cubs' 60th win of the season in their 100th game, and it's the quickest they've reached 60 since 1977, when they did so in their 99th game.

Baez's go-ahead two-run homer

Surprise, Surprise: Ranaudo made his first Major League hit count, as he gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead with a lined shot into the right-center-field stands leading off the fifth. Ranaudo's long ball was the first by an American League pitcher this season and the first for a White Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle in Milwaukee on June 14, 2009. Ranaudo was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts previously in his career and became the first White Sox pitcher to homer against the Cubs in Interleague Play (four Cubs pitchers have homered against the White Sox).

Ranaudo's homer opens scoring

"I thought it was a double at first. I thought it got stuck in the ivy and I kind of pulled up at second base," Ranaudo said. "I looked back at home and realized it was a home run, from the way everybody was reacting and stuff, and I had to finish out the jog." More >

Big hits: The Cubs' offense has stalled since the All-Star break, and Ranaudo cruised through five innings before Bryant smacked his 26th home run of the season into the left-field bleachers. The 26 blasts match his 2015 total. Jason Heyward walked with two outs in the seventh to set up Baez's homer to left on a 3-2 pitch. Russell's slam spoiled a save opportunity for Chapman, but the Cubs will take it.

Bryant's solo homer in the 6th

"It was kind of surreal, just rounding the bases and trying to remember the pandemonium of the fans," Russell said. "To greet my teammates at home was pretty sweet."

Start me up: Hammel scattered five hits over seven innings and struck out seven for the win, his 10th, which matches a career high. He's reached that number five times: 2009, '10, '14, '15 and this season. In three starts since the All-Star break, he has a 2.00 ERA and has struck out 18 over 18 innings.

"I was trying to hide in the dugout from Joe so he wouldn't take me out," Hammel said. "I felt I got better as the game went on. As long as we keep the game close, the offense, the potency, we can put up runs pretty quick."

Hammel's strong outing

Fulmer struggles: The learning process will be a gradual one for Carson Fulmer, the White Sox top prospect per Fulmer pitched one-third of an inning, allowing four runs on two hits and one walk, while hitting Bryant. Fulmer has a 17.18 ERA since joining the White Sox bullpen from the Double-A Birmingham rotation. 

"There's going to be some bumps in the road, but stuff-wise, person-wise, confidence-wise, it's going to get there," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "He has the stuff to do it."

"The ball is jumping out of the zone. I just have to stay through the ball a little bit better and get my pitches where I want them. And obviously more reps will fix that. It's a matter of time before it clicks." -- Fulmer, on his struggles

"I know what he's got. We didn't talk about signs. I was a little funny on the mound. It was a good time." -- Cubs catcher Miguel Montero, on how he greeted Chapman in the ninth

Chapman's first strikeout as Cub

Russell's grand slam was the fourth by the Cubs this season. Bryant hit one on April 21 at Cincinnati, Matt Szczur did so on April 29 against the Braves and Baez connected on June 28 at Cincinnati.

Russell (22 years, 186 days) is the youngest Cubs player to hit a grand slam since Nelson Mathews (21 years, 57 days) did so on Sept. 16, 1962.

The White Sox challenged a second-inning call that Frazier was picked off first base. Video replay overturned the call and Frazier stayed at first, although the White Sox did not score in the inning.

White Sox challenge in the 2nd

White Sox: Chris Sale returns to the mound Thursday after serving a five-game suspension handed down to the ace hurler Saturday. Sale's last outing against the Cubs featured 15 strikeouts and one hit allowed over seven innings on Aug. 16, 2015, at U.S. Cellular Field.

Cubs: John Lackey will close the intracity Interleague series, making his team-high 21st start. Lackey is 0-4 with a 6.38 ERA in his last six starts after opening the season 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA in his first 14 outings. First pitch will be 7:05 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.