Not One, Not Two … But Five Big Flies – Cubs 12, White Sox 3

Game Sixty-Seven – Cubs 12, White Sox 3
WP – Matt Garza (3-5) LP – Zach Stewart (1-2) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs broke out the bats Monday night on the South Side and beat the White Sox for the first time this season. The Cubs improved to 12-11 in series openers behind a season-high in runs scored (12), hits (15) and home runs (5). Monday was also marked the most runs scored by a Cubs’ team at U.S. Cellular Field (10 runs on July 10, 1999).

The Cubs scored in four of their nine at bats and broke the game open with a six-run seventh inning, the second time the Cubs scored six runs in a single frame this season (April 12 at Wrigley against Zack Greinke).

Bryan LaHair (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) put the Cubs on the board in the third with his 13th longball of the year. LaHair golfed a 1-2 pitch with two outs over the wall in right center. Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored) had another big night at the plate and his two-run homer in the fifth gave Matt Garza a little breathing room.

Alfonso Soriano (2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored) drove in a pair of runs with a mammoth home run in the fifth and a RBI single in the seventh. Geovany Soto (2-for-5 with a home run) notched a multi-hit game in his first game back off the DL. Soto cracked his fourth homer of the year in the six-run seventh.

The Cubs broke the game open with their fifth longball of the night. With the Cubs up 9-3 and two on with one down, Luis Valbuena (3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) launched his second homer as a Cub, a three-run shot that completed the scoring.

Dale Sveum received production up and down the lineup Monday. All but one of Sveum’s starters recorded a hit and drove in at least one run. David DeJesus was the only starter without a hit and he was hit twice (both times in the seventh inning by two different pitchers) and he scored a run. Steve Clevenger (1-for-5 with a RBI and a run score) and Darwin Barney (1-for-5 with a RBI) both drove in and scored a run.

Matt Garza picked up his first win since April 29 in Philadelphia. Garza put together another quality start after allowing three runs on five hits (two home runs) with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings. Garza threw only 87 pitches, 59 for strikes, and did not come back out for the seventh with the game well in hand. Garza made only two mistakes and both left the park. A.J. Pierzynski (a solo shot in the fifth) and Paul Konerko (a two-run homer in the sixth) each hit home runs that accounted for all three runs off Garza.

Shawn Camp pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Garza and Manny Corpas retired all three batters he faced in the ninth.

With Monday’s win (Cubs’ ninth road victory of the season), the Cubs improved to 23-44 on the season …

David DeJesus (left center) and Starlin Castro (right center) both flied out to start the game. Bryan LaHair notched the first hit of the game with a single to left on a 0-2 pitch. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Zach Stewart threw 21 pitches in the first, 12 for strikes.

Matt Garza set down the Sox in order in the first with a little help from Bryan LaHair with a running catch to take away a hit from Gordon Beckham for the second out. Garza caught Adam Dunn looking to end the inning and threw 13 pitches, eight strikes, in the opening frame.

Steve Clevenger grounded out to second and Alexei Ramirez took away a hit from Barney on a sensational play on a ball ticketed for centerfield to start the second. Luis Valbuena singled to left (1-1 pitch) but Geovany Soto hit a weak grounder to third to end the inning … 31 pitches for Stewart after two, 19 for strikes.

Matt Garza struck out two of the three batters he faced in the second. Garza threw 27 pitches in two innings, 18 for strikes.

Tony Campana (groundout to second) and David DeJesus (pop out to right) made two quick outs to start the Cubs’ third. Starlin Castro kept the inning going with a single to right on a 1-2 offering from Zach Stewart.

Bryan LaHair stepped in with one on and two out. LaHair fell behind 1-2 and Castro took off for second on the next pitch. LaHair golfed the low 1-2 pitch into the stands in right center … and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead. Soriano hit a weak grounder to Orlando Hudson to end the inning.

Dayan Viciedo flied out to deep left to start the third (0-2 pitch). Garza fell behind Alexei Ramirez 3-0. Ramirez hit a 3-2 pitch back up the middle that Garza deflected slightly with this glove. Barney fielded the ball and tried a glove-to-glove toss to Clevenger but the ball stuck in his glove and Ramirez beat the throw (Sox first hit). Orlando Hudson popped Garza’s first pitch into center for the third out.

After three, the Cubs led 2-0.

Steve Clevenger grounded out to second to start the fourth. After Barney lined out to right for the second out, Luis Valbuena recorded his second hit of the night, a single to center. Alejandro De Aza made an excellent diving catch to take away an extra basehit from Geovany Soto to end the inning.

Matt Garza struck out one of the three batters he faced in the fourth … 51 pitches for Garza after four, 35 for strikes.

After four, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.

Tony Campana led off the fifth with an infield single. Campana hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle that Ramirez dove and kept the ball from the leaving the infield but could not make a throw. On a 2-0 pitch to DeJesus, Campana took off and swiped his 24th bag of the season. DeJesus grounded out to second on a 3-2 pitch. Campana advanced to third on the productive out.

Starlin Castro lifted a 1-0 pitch into left center. The ball kept carrying and left the park. Castro’s sixth longball of the season put the Cubs’ up 4-0. Bryan LaHair drove Stewart’s first pitch to deep left. Viciedo caught the ball on the track for the second out.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in and crushed a 1-0 pitch from Zach Stewart. The ball traveled a wonderful 440 feet, ended up in the ivy beyond the centerfield wall and gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead. Steve Clevenger popped out to center to end the inning.

The White Sox got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. After Alex Rios grounded out to short to start the inning, A.J. Pierzynski crushed 0-1 pitch well over the wall in right for the Sox first run.

Garza missed on a 3-2 pitch to Viciedo and issued his first free pass of the night. Alexei Ramirez singled to center and the Sox had runners on first and second with one out. Garza struck out Orlando Hudson looking and De Aza grounded out to first to end the inning … 75 pitches for Garza after five, 51 strikes.

After five, the Cubs led 5-1.

Zach Stewart started the sixth by retiring Barney and Valbuena on a flies out to Rios in right. Geovany Soto lined Stewart’s first pitch over the wall in left for his first longball since May 7. With the Cubs up 6-1, Robin Ventura went to his pen and brought in Will Ohman to face Tony Campana. Campana struck out swinging to end the inning.

Gordon Beckham led off the sixth with a single to left. Matt Garza fell behind Adam Dunn but eventually caught him looking at a 2-2 pitch for the first out … the third time Garza struck out Dunn in as many at bats on Monday night.

Paul Konerko muscled a 1-0 pitch toward center, the ball hit off the top of the padding and bounced over the wall. The Cubs lead was cut to 6-3. Alex Rios just missed Garza’s first pitch and flied out to left for the second out. A.J. Pierzynski lined out to third to end the inning. Garza threw 87 pitches in six innings, 59 strikes.

Will Ohman started the seventh by hitting David DeJesus with a 2-1 pitch. Starlin Castro ripped a 2-2 pitch off Beckham’s glove into right center. Bryan LaHair looked at a 1-2 pitch on the outer part of the plate for the first out. Robin Ventura went back to his pen and brought in Nate Jones to face Soriano.

With runners on first and second with one down, Alfonso Soriano ripped a 2-2 pitch from Jones back up the middle past a diving Alexei Ramirez. DeJesus scored (7-3 Cubs) and Castro advanced to third on the play. Steve Clevenger made it an 8-3 game with a single to right (1-1 pitch). Castro scored (8-3 Cubs) and Soriano stopped at second.

Nate Jones’ first pitch to Darwin Barney sailed past Pierzynski. Both Soriano and Clevenger advanced ninety feet. Pierzynski made a wild throw to third in an attempt to get an out and if not for a diving stop by Orlando Hudson in foul ground, Soriano would have scored before he did. Barney blooped Jones’ next pitch into right. Soriano scored, 9-3 Cubs and Clevenger stopped at third with one out.

Luis Valbuena pulled Jones’ first pitch over the wall in right … and just like that the Cubs led 12-3. Geovany Soto looked at three straight out of the strike zone before ripping a single into right on a 3-1 pitch. Ventura decided he’d seen enough and brought in Hector Santiago to face Tony Campana. Campana flied out to left for the second out of the inning.

David DeJesus led off the inning by getting hit on a 2-1 pitch by Will Ohman … and in his second at bat in the seventh inning he was hit on a 2-2 pitch from Hector Santiago. After DeJesus was plunked by the second pitcher in the same inning, Castro grounded out to third to end the inning.

The Cubs scored six runs in the top of the seventh on six hits … and one big home run.

Shawn Camp took over for Garza in the seventh and set down the Sox in order.

Hector Santiago stayed in and retired the Cubs in order in the eighth.

Other than a two-out single by Adam Dunn, the Sox did nothing against Shawn Camp in the eighth.

The Cubs did nothing in the ninth against Hector Santiago … and the game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs up 12-3.

Manny Corpas retired Jordan Danks, Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo in order to end the game.

It is always a good day with the Cubs beat the Sox …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Jake Peavy in game two of round two under the lights Tuesday night.

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax