Sox Edge Cubs Again

Doug Davis was coming off of his best outing as a Cub, when he held the high powered Yankees in check for his first win this season. The Cubs lefty was trying to repeat the performance against another American League foe, but the White Sox jumped on him for three runs in the fourth inning, with the big damage coming off the bat of the dispised A.J. Pierzynski. The Sox catcher’s rare triple drove in two runs, and he scored one batter later on a squeeze bunt.

The Cubs offense answered with some two out magic. Starlin Castro drove in Kosuke Fukudome, who had hit a double ahead of him, with a solid single up the middle. But the Sox got the run right back in the bottom half when Davis hit Brent Lillibridge with a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing in a run. The offensive seesaw battle continued in the top of the sixth when Carlos Pena led off the inning with a high arcing home run just to the left of dead center. The home run tied him for the team lead and it was his third homer in as many games, as he hit one in each game of the series. It looks like Pena will be looking forward to seeing the Sox visit Wrigley in a couple weeks.

A trio of singles by Alfonso Soriano, Blake DeWitt, and Jeff Baker brought the Cubs within one that same inning. For the second straight night there was a tight ballgame between the two Chicago teams.

For the rest of the game it was a battle of the bullpens. Chris Carpenter blew away the Sox in his clean inning of work, even hitting 100 mph on the radar gun. It was good to see after he was put in a tough spot against the Yankees earlier this week. The rookie’s performance was backed up by Jeff Samardzija, who struck out two in his one inning appearance. Another positive bounce back performance as he had been the one that suffered the loss against the Sox the night before. Sean Marshall completed the scoreless bullpen effort with a clean frame of his own, but the White Sox pen was able to match them inning for inning to seal the win for Jake Peavy.

The Cubs offense had its best chance to tie the game in the eighth, when DeWitt led off with a single. The speedy Tony Campana pinch ran for him and promptly stole second base on the second pitch to Baker. Campana then made a heads up base running play, advancing to third on the throw to first to get Baker out. Unfortunately the rookie speedster was stranded at third, with the key at bat falling on Koyie Hill. The back up catcher struck out swinging when a simple ball put in play would have at least given the Cubs at worst a chance for a play at the plate. Fukudome also struck out to end the frame, and Sox closer Sergio Santos blew away the Cubs in the ninth to seal the series win for the Sox and temporary bragging rights for Sox fans until the series at Wrigley.

Topics: Alfonso Soriano, Blake DeWitt, Carlos Pena, Chicago Cubs, Chris Carpenter, Doug Davis, Jeff Baker, Jeff Samardzija, Kosuke Fukudome, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Starlin Castro, Tony Campana

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