Chicago Cubs begin the Crosstown Classic this weekend

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After picking up a series split with the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in town, it’s time for the Chicago Cubs to begin the 2015 Crosstown Classic with the Chicago White Sox this weekend at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs had the opportunity to pick up the 3-1 series win on Wednesday, but reliever Pedro Strop was unable to slam the door on the dangerous Redbirds as All-Star shortstop Jhonny Peralta launched the game-winning two-run blast with two outs in the ninth inning.

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Catcher Miguel Montero gave the Cubs the lead in the seventh inning with a two outs three-run double to right-center field which made it 5-4. Starting pitcher Jason Hammel exited the game due to tightness in his hamstring, forcing skipper Joe Maddon to bring in recently acquired Clayton Richard from the bullpen.

The late-inning loss pushed the Cubs to 8.5 games out of first place and 3.5 behind the second-place, Pittsburgh Pirates who have been playing great baseball as of late.

So far this season, the North Siders have proved to be moving in the right direction – at times. They proved that they could hang with the best of them, but have had their fair share of hiccups along the way which ended up being chalked as learning experiences for this young team.

As for the White Sox, they are currently riding a two-game winning streak into this afternoon’s series opener and are 7-3 over their last 10 games.

They find themselves in last place in the A.L. Central, trailing the first-place Kansas City Royals by 11 games but aren’t too far off from the rest of the pack.

Last season, the South Siders were able to claim the BP Cup after picking up the 3-1 series win.

Since this series officially began back in 1997, the Cubs are the only team to sweep a yearly series. They did so back in 1998 (3-0) and did it again just two years ago with a four-game sweep.

Entering this weekend, the White Sox hold a 10-4-4 record over the Lovable Losers. Despite their record, the pitching match-up’s for both sides will have a bit of a playoff feel to it.

Starting today’s game will be Carlos Rondon vs Kyle Hendricks, Chris Sale vs Jon Lester on Saturday, then Jose Quintana meets ace Jake Arrieta in the first-half finale on Sunday.

Here’s more from around the league:

Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant’s Home Run Derby impact‘ – Cubbies Crib

Mariners News: Roster Shakeup, Montero Recalled‘ – SoDo MoJo

Atlanta Braves Get Their Draft Pick: 1st Pick Kolby Allard Signs‘ – Tomahawk Take

The Oakland Athletics Will Finish Last in AL West‘ – Swingin A’s

Future Colorado Rockies: New Britain Rock Cats July 8 Update‘ – Rox Pile

Next: Could Hammel's Injury Impact Rotation?

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