Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija was masterful once again in Monday’s series opener against the Chicago White Sox, tossing nine innings and allowing just one unearned run, but it was not enough as the Cubs fell to their crosstown rival, 3-1, in 12 innings.
In the top of the 12th, after southpaw Wesley Wright recorded the first out, right-hander Justin Grimm (1-1) entered, promptly retiring Dayan Viciedo for the second out. However, the inning quickly unraveled from there, and after a single, a stolen base and a walk, a two-out, RBI double off the bat of Marcus Semien gave the White Sox (16-17) a one-run lead. A bases-loaded walk by Grimm added an insurance run later in the inning.
The Cubs (11-19) failed to record a base hit against White Sox starter Jose Quintana until the bottom of the sixth, when Samardzija led off the inning with a double. He later came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of outfielder Junior Lake, which tied the game at one apiece.
Quintana matched Samardzija for much of the game, allowing just one run on one hit over seven sterling innings for manager Robin Ventura. Samardzija, however, took the Cubs on his shoulders and did everything possible to get his team – and himself – a win.
Tossing nine innings, totaling 126 pitches, the right-hander dazzled, mixing speeds and locations masterfully en route to yet another no decision. In seven starts this season, Samardzija has recorded a quality start in six of them – and his earned run average ranks second among National League starters, second only to Reds’ right-hander Johnny Cueto.
After Alejandro De Aza singled to lead off the ballgame, a throwing error by third baseman Mike Olt set up the first run of the game, which came via a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jose Abreu, who was named the American League Player and Rookie of the month of April prior to Monday’s series opener.
No Cubs player recorded more than a single base hit against White Sox pitching Monday night. Closer Matt Lindstrom entered in the bottom of the 12th, earning his fifth save of the season.