By JAY COHEN AP Baseball Writer

CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Tauchman hit a game-ending homer, and the Chicago Cubs handed the Chicago White Sox their 13th consecutive loss with a 7-6 victory Wednesday night.

Tauchman drove Michael Kopech’s second pitch in the ninth inning — a 98.4 mph fastball — deep to center for his fifth of the season. It was the first career game-ending homer for the Palatine, Illinois, native.

“He throws really hard. He’s got a great fastball,” Tauchman said. “So you know in that situation I personally feel like trying to be ready for anything else is foolish.”

Tauchman had two hits and scored three times as the Cubs (31-31) got back to .500 with their third victory in four games. Cody Bellinger drove in two runs, and Héctor Neris (6-0) got three outs for the win.

The North Siders erased a 5-0 deficit in a 7-6 victory over the South Siders on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

“I love this group,” Tauchman said.

The last-place White Sox (15-47) have led by at least two runs at one point in each of their last five losses. The 13-game slide is the longest in the majors this year and matches the single-season franchise record set in 1924.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of these guys,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “These guys are playing good baseball and they are giving us everything they got and that’s I ask them to do every day. Play as hard as you can and that’s what they are doing.”

Corey Julks hit his first career leadoff homer for the South Siders, who have the majors’ worst road record at 5-26. Kopech (1-6) has allowed at least one run in three of his last four outings.

“Threw two pitches, they were both fastballs,” Kopech said. “Most of the league knows I’m going to be predominantly fastball. He was ready for it and put a good swing on it.”

The Cubs erased a 5-3 deficit with three runs in the seventh, capped by Ian Happ’s broken-bat single for the only hit of the inning. Michael Soroka committed a balk — the second one of the night for the White Sox — and threw a run-scoring wild pitch during an 11-pitch at-bat by Tauchman.

“It was a big spot in the game, for sure,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said. “I thought it was just an at-bat where Mike stayed within himself as he does so well.”

Bellinger set up Happ’s go-ahead blooper with a sacrifice fly. But Paul DeJong tied it again when he greeted Hayden Wesneski with a 407-foot leadoff shot to left in the eighth for his 10th homer.

Julks drove Jameson Taillon’s first pitch of the game deep to left for his second homer, and the White Sox added four more runs in the fourth on six singles.

The Cubs got two back in the fifth, taking advantage of some sloppiness for the White Sox.

Seiya Suzuki’s grounder to second turned into an infield single when an out-of-position Sheets was late getting over to first base. That loaded the bases for Bellinger, who drove in Dansby Swanson with a fielder’s choice. A balk on Erick Fedde brought home another run.

“Just a mental error,” Fedde said “I was hyperfocused, knew exactly what pitch I wanted to throw. When I heard the pitch in my PitchCom, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I was getting ready to shake, but coming set at the same time. Just a silly mistake, something that can’t happen.”

The Cubs finished the game without second baseman Nico Hoerner, who was ejected in the fourth by home plate umpire Vic Carapazza. Hoerner protested after he struck out looking on a ball that appeared to be outside, and he was thrown out for the first time in 452 appearances in the majors.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: 3B Christopher Morel departed in the seventh inning after he fouled a ball off his left foot. He ended up with a walk, and then was replaced by a pinch runner. Counsell said he thinks Morel is going to be OK. … LHP Jordan Wicks (left forearm strain) is back with the big league team, but there has been no word on his next step. He has a 3.12 ERA over three rehab starts with Triple-A Iowa, and he was scheduled for a bullpen session on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Jake Woodford (0-1, 6.23 ERA) starts on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series against Boston. RHP Tanner Houck (5-5, 1.85 ERA) goes for the visiting Red Sox.

Cubs: RHP Javier Assad (4-1, 2.27 ERA) takes the mound on Thursday night at Cincinnati. RHP Hunter Greene (3-2, 3.44 ERA) starts for the Reds in the opener of a four-game set.

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