EditorsNote: minor edits
Willson Contreras homered twice and Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez and Victor Caratini also went deep to back seven shutout innings from Yu Darvish as the visiting Chicago Cubs routed the reeling Chicago White Sox 10-0 on Friday night.
The Cubs (33-25) snapped a three-game losing streak and reduced their magic number to clinch the National League Central to one while sending the White Sox to their season-high sixth loss in a row.
Since clinching the franchise's first playoff berth since 2008 with a comeback win against Minnesota on Sept. 17, the White Sox have lost seven of eight, relinquishing first place in the American League Central while falling to 34-24.
Darvish defeated the White Sox for the second time this season, scattering three hits, one walk and five strikeouts in seven innings to improve to 8-3 and finish the regular season with a 2.01 ERA. An early power surge against White Sox righty Dylan Cease (5-4) provided plenty of cushion.
Schwarber opened the scoring with a two-out solo home run in the second inning, ending a career-long 21-game streak without a homer. Contreras extended the Cubs' lead to 4-0 with a three-run blast in the third before Baez added a solo shot in the fourth.
Cease spaced five runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Of the nine home runs he surrendered in 12 regular-season starts, four came against the Cubs.
Caratini connected against reliever Gio Gonzalez for a two-run homer in the sixth, his first home run this season. Contreras capped the scoring with a solo home run against position player Yolmer Sanchez, who worked the ninth.
Adam Engel managed the White Sox lone extra-base hit, doubling to center to lead off the third. Rookie center fielder Luis Robert snapped an 0-for-29 skid with a sharp single past Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the fifth.
Dan Winkler and Andrew Chafin both pitched perfect innings to complete the three-hitter and the Cubs' eighth shutout of the season.
Contreras, Baez, Schwarber and Caratini had two hits apiece. Caratini had two RBIs.
White Sox reliever Jimmy Cordero, manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Don Cooper were ejected in the seventh after Cordero hit Contreras with a pitch.
--Field Level Media