Game Seventy-Four – Cubs 3 White Sox 4
WP – Jake Peavy (3-1) LP – Doug Davis (1-6) Save – Sergio Santos (14)
The Cubs lost another one-run game and ended up giving away the first round of the City Series. The difference on Wednesday night ended up being an unearned run in the fifth inning … and the Cubs inability to hit with runners in scoring position.
After three solid innings to start the game, the White Sox finally got to Doug Davis in the fourth and scored three of their four runs on a triple by A.J. Pierzynski and a suicide squeeze bunt by Brent Lillibridge.
Kosuke Fukudome (2-for-5 with a double and a run scored) reached on a two-out double in the fifth and scored the Cubs first run on a single by Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a RBI). Castro’s two-out base knock cut the Sox lead to 3-1.
The Cubs defense gave the run right back in the bottom of the fifth. Blake DeWitt booted a routine grounder off the bat of A.J. Pierzynski that would have ended the inning with the Cubs still down 3-1. But the miscue allowed Brent Lillibridge to hit with the bases loaded … and Davis hit Lillibridge to force in the fourth run.
Carlos Pena (1-for-5 with a home run) led off the sixth with his third homer of the series (14th of the year) … and cut the Sox lead to 4-2. Jeff Baker (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Alfonso Soriano with the Cubs third run and chased Jake Peavy from the game. The Cubs loaded the bases against Chris Sale but Starlin Castro grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Cubs had a chance to tie the game in the eighth after Blake DeWitt started the inning with an infield single. Tony Campana ran for DeWitt, stole second and advanced to third on a ground out to third. Mike Quade allowed Koyie Hill (0-for-4, three strikeouts and three runners left on base) to hit and Hill predictably struck out with the tying run on third. Guillen then brought in Matt Thornton to face Fukudome and Kosuke struck out to end the inning.
Sergio Santos picked up his second save of the series. Santos retired all three batters he faced Wednesday. In 2 1/3 innings, Santos retired all seven batters he faced, five strikeouts, and threw a total of three balls out of the strike zone.
The Cubs six game streak of not being charged with an error came to a grinding stop at the Cell and their second error ended up being the difference on the scoreboard.
Doug Davis was lifted after allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in five innings. The Cubs pen did their job. Chris Carpenter, Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall retired all nine batters they faced and gave the Cubs offense plenty of time to tie or take the lead.
The Cubs actually out hit the White Sox (10-8) but not when it counted. The Cubs were a miserable 3-for-10 with RISP and left 10 on base.
Alfonso Soriano (1-for-2 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base) had a good night at the plate. Soriano actually showed a lot of patience with the two walks (came in with only seven all season) and stole his first base in over a year.
The White Sox won their 17th straight Interleague series and the Cubs lost their sixth in a row. With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 14 games under .500 with a 30-44 record … Doug Davis and Jake Peavy matched one another pitch for pitch until the fourth inning. The Cubs managed only one hit over the first four innings against Peavy and the Sox had tallied only two hits against Davis … but that quickly changed with one out in the bottom of the fourth.
Doug Davis retired Paul Konerko on a fly out to right. Alexei Ramirez singled to left on a 1-2 pitch, the Sox third hit of the game. Alex Rios single to left and the writing was on the wall that the game was about to get ugly.
A.J. Pierzynski ripped a 2-2 pitch into right center. Ramirez and Rios scored on Pierzynski’s first triple in over two years. With the ballpark still buzzing, Ozzie called for a squeeze bunt on the first pitch to Brent Lillibridge. Pierzynski scored and Lillibridge reached first after Davis hit him with the ball. The veteran southpaw waited to long to make the throw to first. Davis argued to no avail that Lillibridge was in the baseline.
Gordon Beckham followed with an infield single to the hole at short … the Sox fifth straight hit. With runners on first and second with one out, Pierre popped out to left on a 0-1 offering. Brent Morel put together a good at bat that resulted in a deep fly out to Reed Johnson in center.
The Sox scored three runs on five hits in the fourth and it took Davis 29 pitches to record three outs. After four, Davis’ pitch count stood at 72, 47 for strikes.
Jeff Baker and Koyie Hill went down quickly to start the fifth. Kosuke Fukudome put together another good at bat, this one resulted in a double to left. Starlin Castro ripped a 1-0 pitch into center that plated Fukudome with the Cubs first run.
Aramis Ramirez flied out to right on a 0-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs gave the Sox the run right back in the bottom of the fifth. Doug Davis struck out Quentin and retired Konerko on a pop out to second to start the inning … but issued a two-out walk to Alexei Ramirez. Davis jumped out ahead of Alex Rios 0-2 but Rios worked the count back to 2-2 before knocking a single into left. With runners on first and second with two outs, Pierzynski hit a routine grounder to Blake DeWitt that he simply booted. The Sox loaded the bases after two out and the bases empty.
Davis got ahead of Brent Lillibridge 1-2 before hitting him and forcing in Alexei Ramirez with the Sox’s fourth run. Gordon Beckham flied out to center to end the inning.
The Cubs defense cost Davis a run but the veteran did not help himself … a two-out walk and a HBP were just as bad as the error by Blake DeWitt. Davis threw 29 pitches in the fifth … and after five he had thrown 101 pitches, 62 for strikes.
Carlos Pena led off the sixth and took three straight out of the zone from Peavy. After Peavy got one over, Pena launched his next offering into the stands in left center. Pena’s third homer of the series and fifth in seven games cut the Sox lead to 4-2.
Reed Johnson struck out but Alfonso Soriano singled to left. Blake DeWitt followed with a single to left center. Soriano advanced to third and scored on a single to left off the bat of Jeff Baker. With the Sox up 4-3 and runners on first and second with one out, Guillen went to his pen and brought in Chris Sale to clean up for Jake Peavy.
Chris Sale struck out Koyie Hill for the second out.
Kosuke Fukudome checked his swing on a 0-2 pitch from Sale and hit the ball right back up the middle. Sale put his glove up and kept the ball from leaving the infield. With the bases loaded and two outs, Starlin Castro grounded out to third on the first pitch to end the inning.
Chris Carpenter mowed down the Sox in order in the bottom of the sixth … and Jeff Samardzija did the same in the bottom of the seventh.
The Cubs best chance to tie the game in the eighth but once again Mike Quade dropped the ball.
Blake DeWitt led off the eighth with an infield single … a dribbler past Chris Sale that Beckham could not make a play on. Ozzie went to his pen and brought in Jesse Crain and Quade went to his bench and sent Tony Campana in to run for DeWitt.
With Jeff Baker at the plate, Campana broke for second on a 1-0 offering. The Sox called a pitch out that ended up being a wild pitch. Campana slid in safe at second unaware the ball had sailed over Pierzynski’s head. Baker ended up hitting a weak chopper to third. As soon as Morel threw to first, Campana advanced to third with one out.
For some reason Mike Quade did not pinch-hit for Koyie Hill and Hill did what everyone, but Quade, thought he would do. Hill struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Guillen went back to his pen for Matt Thornton to face Fukudome … and Kosuke struck out swinging to end the inning.
Sean Marshall retired the Sox in order in the bottom of the eighth.
Sergio Santos retired the Cubs in order to end the game.
Bad defense, the inability to hit consistently with runners in scoring position and poor in game management … no wonder this team is 14 games under .500.
Thursday is the Cubs first off day since June 2 and their last day off before the All-Star break. The Cubs open a three game series in Kansas City on Friday night. Ryan Dempster against Bruce Chen in game one.