Cubs take advantage of Sox miscues
CHICAGO – The Cubs, National League cellar dwellers, welcomed the chance to break up a disappointing season full of losses and miscues by thwarting the White Sox’s bid for a division title.
Facing one of baseball’s best pitchers in Jake Peavy, the Cubs capitalized on their reeling rival’s mistakes in Tuesday’s 2-1 win before a crowd of 30,282 at U.S. Cellular Field. The Cubs claimed their first series win against the Sox since 2008 and their first at U.S. Cellular since 2007.
“You’re always wanting to win every single game,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “Tomorrow’s another day and you go out, you do your best to sweep the series. You’re not satisfied with two out of three.”
The loss dropped the Sox (35-33) a half game out of first place in the division after the Cleveland Indians’ extra-inning win. Third baseman Orlando Hudson’s throwing error sparked the Cubs in the third and led to their only two runs off Peavy.
“I [screwed] it up,” Hudson said. “I lost the game for the man, that’s it. The man threw a [heck] of a game, I lost it for him. Point blank. Case closed. We lost. My bad. That’s it.”
The Sox wasted their opportunities in the second inning against a wild Travis Wood, who walked three batters. They managing only one run on Alexei Ramirez’s ground rule double and Wood escaped a bases loaded, one-out situation forcing Orlando Hudson to pop out and striking out Alejandro De Aza to end the threat. Eight Sox were left on base in the loss.
Wood (1-3) put together one of his best starts against a Sox lineup that has lost six of their last seven games and 10 of 14. The Sox (35-33) managed four hits off the lefty and one run despite Wood’s four walks.
Wood, who struck out five on 89 pitches, has given up three runs or fewer in six of his seven starts. He wasn’t sure what changed after the second inning, but Wood proved again he can match the American League’s best pitchers.
“Just bearing down, trying to command the strike zone and I was able to do that, pitches were working well,” Wood said. “… I was able to battle and keep them off balance and we end up winning the ball game.”
Peavy again was victimized by no run support. For the third time this season Peavy took the loss despite allowing just one earned run. He retired 16 consecutive batters before Tony Campana’s two-out single in the eighth. It marked the Cubs’ first hit off Peavy since Campana’s single in the third.
“It’s frustrating,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Peavy pitched a great game. You look at it, he deserved better. We had opportunities. It just didn’t happen.”
Peavy (6-3) threw his third complete game – second in a loss – as the Cubs (24-42) scored two runs (one earned run) on four hits. He walked one batter and struck out four on a season-high 125 pitches.
“It’s tough; I did feel good tonight, and I was trying to be economical,” Peavy said. “Because I knew with the injuries we’ve had, and with [Zach Stewart] starting last night, the bullpen has been used a lot. I knew from the outset that I was going to go deep. … I wish [the outcome] would have been different.”
James Russell relieved Shawn Camp to start the eighth but quickly found himself in trouble. Back-to-back one-out walks put Gordon Beckham and Adam Dunn on base for slugger Paul Konerko, forcing Sveum to call on right-hander Manny Corpas.
Corpas shut the door on the Sox, getting Konerko to fly out and forcing Alex Rios to ground out to first aided by a questionable check swing that first base umpire Bill Miller ruled a strike.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol picked up his fourth save of the season as Hudson grounded out to end the game.