The Wrigley Field crowd of 40,869 cheered wildly as Morel sprinted around the bases with his arms out. He ripped off his jersey as he rounded third before he was surrounded by his teammates in a delirious mob at home plate.
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Morel’s first career game-ending homer was the Cubs’ first hit with runners in scoring position all night. They were looking at a frustrating shutout loss before Nick Madrigal’s pinch-hit homer against Aaron Bummer in the eighth set the stage for Morel’s big swing in the ninth.
Drew Smyly (9-8) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
The White Sox wasted a terrific performance by Mike Clevinger, who tossed seven innings of two-hit ball. The right-hander is 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA in his last nine starts.
White Sox News
Gavin Sheets hit a two-run homer for the White Sox, who had won six in a row at Wrigley Field. Sheets’ drive in the fifth was his first homer since June 16 and No. 9 on the season, and it led to chants of “Let’s go White Sox!” from slices of the crowd.
The Cubs, who are fighting for a playoff spot in the crowded NL standings, went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Javier Assad was charged with three runs, two earned, and four hits in six innings.
Marcus Stroman was slated to come off the injured list and start the game, but the All-Star right-hander experienced some discomfort after a bullpen session on Sunday. An MRI showed a right rib cartilage fracture, and the North Siders said there is no timetable for his return with his new injury.
The White Sox also wasted a solid performance from Andrew Benintendi, who singled and scored on Assad’s wild pitch in the fourth. Benintendi then robbed Dansby Swanson of a hit in the bottom half of the inning, making a diving catch in left with two runners on.
HE’S BACK … FOR NOW
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson went 0 for 3 with a walk in his return to the lineup after he was scratched from the series opener because of neck stiffness. There has been no word on Anderson’s appeal of his six-game suspension by Major League Baseball for his role in a fight with Cleveland slugger José Ramírez.
White Sox: OF/DH Eloy Jiménez (groin) got the day off. He got hurt trying to beat out a grounder to the pitcher during Tuesday night’s 5-3 over the Cubs. Manager Pedro Grifol said Jiménez is day to day.
White Sox: Following an off day, RHP Michael Kopech (5-10, 4.58 ERA) faces Colorado RHP Peter Lambert (2-4, 5.46 ERA) on Friday night in the opener of a three-game set at the Rockies.
Cubs: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-7, 5.71 ERA) starts Friday afternoon in the opener of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Taillon was tagged for eight runs in three-plus innings in an 11-4 loss at Toronto on Sunday.