The Crosstown Series took a back seat in the minds of many fans on both sides of town, as Chicago’s Blackhawks were preparing for a Game 7 tilt with the hated rival Detroit Red Wings. In rivalry that typically sees blue against black, one thing North Siders and South Siders could agree on is support of the hockey team in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Dioner Navarro decided to get into the hockey spirit and pulled off a hat trick of home runs on his way to a career day and another Cubs win. The North Siders got the scoring started right off the bat, with David DeJesus getting to second thanks to an error by Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo on a fly ball that made its way to the well area warning track. DeJesus would score on a failed Anthony Rizzo double play grounder to make it 1-0 Cubs.
May 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro (30) acknowledges the crowd after hitting a three-run homer against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The South Siders answered right back in the top of the second thanks to a trio of singles, tying the game 1-1. That’s when the Navarro show took the stage. The Cubs back up catcher put a level swing on an elevated change up in the zone and drove it into the left center field bleachers to break the tie. He would torment Sox starter John Danks with a long ball again in the bottom of the fourth, this time hooking an arching shot inside the left field foul pole, with Scott Hairston along for the ride. A wild pitch plated Hairston in the sixth before a Ryan Sweeney RBI single made it 6-2 in favor of the boys in blue.
Navarro provided an encore performance in the bottom of the seventh, this time from the left handed batter’s box. His third homer of the game was of the three run variety and the booming shot landed on Sheffield Avenue. The back stop finished the game 3 for 3, all for home runs, with six RBI and a well deserved curtain call per the request of the Wrigley faithful. Navarro represents the first switch hitter in Cubs history to hit three jacks with at least one coming from each side of the plate. The catcher’s offensive production alone would have beaten the White Sox, as the North Siders would go on to win 9-3.
All the deserved attention on Navarro also overshadowed the positive efforts of a few other Cubs. For starters, Scott Feldman picked up another quality start, going six innings while scattering six hits and allowing two earned runs. What was more exciting than his seven strikeouts was that he did not walk a batter for the first time this season. After starting the season 0-3, the Cubs righty is now 5-4 for 2013, with his ERA an All Star consideration worthy 2.82. Regarding the offense, what should not go unnoticed is the 2 for 4 effort from Hairston. While a pair of singles is not much to get excited over, it is no secret by now that the veteran right fielder has struggled to hit since putting on the blue pinstripes. Hairston was signed mainly for his ability to mash left handed pitching, yet he is hitting .154 including these two hits on the season. The Cubs will need him to come around not only to win some more games for the stellar starting rotation, but to provide a solid option to start regularly should the Cubs be able to deal Alfonso Soriano or David DeJesus by July.
The Crosstown Series comes to a close on Thursday afternoon with the finale at Wrigley. The Cubs are in a position to take the series win with a victory. There is no word yet on a make up date for the rain out at U.S. Celluar on Tuesday.