Game Seventy-Three – Cubs 2 White Sox 3
WP – Jesse Crain (3-2, BS 2) LP – Jeff Samardzija (5-3) Save – Sergio Santos (13)
Tuesday night was really two games in one … before the rain and after the rain. The Cubs and Sox played for two hours and 51 minutes but waited around for an hour and 44 minutes to complete the second game in round one of the City Series.
Matt Garza started the game and really made only one mistake in his five innings of work. Garza served up a solo shot to Paul Konerko in the second that gave the Sox an early lead. The other run off Garza came on a safety squeeze in the third. Unfortunately for the Cubs, Mark Buehrle was on the hill and he was just a little better than Garza during his 5 1/3 innings.
The Cubs managed only two hits off Buehrle in the first four innings. Carlos Pena (1-for-4 with a home run) broke up the shutout with a long home run in the top of the fifth … Pena’s second homer of the year off a lefty and just his fourth hit off a southpaw.
The Cubs started the sixth with back-to-back singles off Mark Buehrle as the rain began to fall. With the Cubs down 2-1 and runners on first and third with no outs, Jeff Baker struck out looking … and the game was delayed for an hour and 44 minutes.
When play resumed, both starters were lifted and the game was turned over to the bullpens. That played right into the hands of the Chicago White Sox.
Aramis Ramirez tied the game with a sac fly to left off Jesse Crain but Q’s offense managed only two hits off Ozzie Guillen’s pen over the final 3 2/3 innings.
The Sox took the lead in the bottom of the seventh off Jeff Samardzija. Alexei Ramirez led off the inning with a double to left. After an infield single by A.J. Pierzynski and a pop out by Alex Rios, Brent Morel drove in Alexei Ramirez with a sac fly to left … two of the Sox three runs Tuesday night scored on sacrifices.
Sergio Santos picked up a four-out save to nail down the win for the Sox. The Cubs put only one ball in play and Santos made quick work of the Cubs … four outs on 15 pitches, 14 for strikes.
The Cubs tallied just as many hits as the Sox but did not work a single free pass on Tuesday night. Q’s offense was 0-for-4 with RISP and left five on base in a one-run loss. Jeff Baker had a rough 30th birthday. The usually dependable Baker was 1-for-4 with four left on base … all of his at bats came against lefties.
Matt Garza did his job Tuesday night and put together a good outing. Garza allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings. Garza threw 72 pitches, 51 for strikes. Garza was taken off the hook when Aramis Ramirez drove in Reed Johnson with a sac fly when play resumed.
Tuesday night was the 10th time this season the Cubs have been delayed by rain.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped back to 13 games under .500 with a 30-43 record … Matt Garza started his night by retiring the White Sox in order in the first on just nine pitches, seven for strikes. Garza threw the ball extremely well and sat down the aggressive White Sox.
The Cubs did nothing against Mark Buehrle in the second … and after two innings, the Cubs had just one hit off Buehrle, a two-out single in the first off the bat of Jeff Baker.
Paul Konerko led off the bottom of the second with a tape measure shot off Matt Garza. Konerko launched a 1-0 pitch about 420-feet over the wall in left. Konerko extended his homer streak to five games.
Garza retired Dunn (strikeout), Ramirez (lineout to second) and Pierzynski (ground out to second) to end the second … but the Sox had a 1-0 lead with Mark Buehrle on the mound.
After the Cubs went quickly and quietly in the top of the third, the Sox tacked on a run in the home half of the third.
Alex Rios led off the third with a double to left on a 1-1 pitch. Alfonso Soriano appeared to just jog after the ball and Rios made it to second rather easily. Brent Morel followed with a line drive single to right. Rios held at third with no outs.
Juan Pierre dropped down Garza’s first pitch to the first base side of the mound. Garza threw out Pierre at first as Rios scored the Sox second run on a safety squeeze. Garza struck out Vizquel swinging and retired Quentin on a grounder to third to end the inning.
At the end of three, the Sox led 2-0.
Aramis Ramirez tallied the Cubs second hit of the game, a two-out double in the fourth but Geovany Soto stuck out swinging to end the inning.
The Sox looked like they would tack on at least one run in the bottom of the fourth after Paul Konerko led off the inning with a double to left. Garza struck out Adam Dunn looking and Alexei Ramirez swinging. Pierzynski grounded out to short to end the inning. Starlin Castro made a fine barehanded pick and throw to just nip A.J. at first to end the inning.
Carlos Pena broke up the shutout with his second longball of the year off a lefty. Pena launched a 1-2 pitch well up into the bleachers in right center … it was just Pena’s fourth hit of the season off a southpaw.
Pena’s 13th homer of the season made it 2-1 White Sox after four and a half.
Garza worked around a leadoff walk to Alex Rios in the fifth and did not allow the White Sox to add on to their 2-1 lead.
With thunder and lighting in the background, Reed Johnson led off the top of the sixth with a bloop single to left. Starlin Castro followed with a bloop single into right center on a 0-2 pitch. Johnson advanced to third as the rain started to fall.
With runners on first and third with no outs and the tying run on third, Jeff Baker struck out looking on three pitches.
At that point, the game was put into a rain delay.
After a one hour and 44 minute delay, Aramis Ramirez stepped in against Jesse Crain. Ramirez lined a 2-1 pitch into left. Johnson tagged and scored … game tied at two.
Geovany Soto struck out swinging to end the inning. Matt Garza was taken off the hook after very good rain-shortened start.
Jeff Samardzija retired the Sox in order in the bottom of the sixth … and Jesse Crain did the same to the Cubs in the top of the seventh. Crain threw only 18 pitches, 13 for strikes, in 1 2/3 innings.
Alexei Ramirez led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to left center on a 1-2 pitch from Samardzija. A.J. Pierzynski followed with an infield single on a ball ticketed for centerfield. D.J. LeMahieu made a nice diving stop to keep the ball in the infield.
With runners on first and third with no outs, Mike Quade brought his infield in and Alex Rios popped up Samardzija’s first pitch to LeMahieu at second. Brent Morel stepped in and ripped a 2-2 pitch into centerfield. Ramirez tagged and scored the go ahead run … 3-2 White Sox.
Juan Pierre tried to bunt his way on but Aramis Ramirez made a nice barehanded pick, threw to first and Carlos Pena cleaned up the low throw with another excellent scoop. But the Sox took the lead and turned the game over to the backend of their pen.
Mike Quade sent Kosuke Fukudome up to hit for D.J. LeMahieu to start the eighth. As soon as Fukudome was announced, Ozzie Guillen went to his pen for Matt Thornton. Fukudome put together a very good at bat that resulted in a single to right. Fukudome worked the count to 3-2 before leading off the inning with a hit on the 10th pitch of the at bat.
Reed Johnson flied out to right center. Starlin Castro followed with an infield single to third but Jeff Baker could not deliver against the southpaw and popped out to Vizquel for the second out of the inning.
Guillen went back to his pen and brought in Sergio Santos for a four-out save.
Aramis Ramirez struck out swinging to end the inning.
For some unknown reason, Rodrigo Lopez took the hill to start the eighth with the Cubs down by only one run. Omar Vizquel popped out to short on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Carlos Quentin ripped Lopez’s first pitch into left. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Quentin ended up at second.
Lopez intentionally walked Paul Konerko and Quade brought in John Grabow to face Adam Dunn. Dunn popped up a 1-1 pitch to Carlos Pena near the mound for the second out of the inning.
Alexei Ramirez grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Cubs went down in order in the ninth against Sergio Santos … Geovany Soto struck out, Alfonso Soriano popped out to right and Carlos Pena struck out to end the game.
When will this team stop giving away at bats? Right now, it’s just a way of life for the Chicago Cubs.
Doug Davis against Jake Peavy in the finale Wednesday night.