Peavy cruises by Cubs for win No. 100
Pierzynski leads power surge with four hits, three RBIs
CHICAGO -- There's nothing like a three-game winning streak to cut the tension, and when the White Sox latest victory came against their intra-city neighbors to the North, and earned Jake Peavy career win No. 100, so much the better. And so Friday's 10-5 win at Wrigley Field holds a little bit of extra meaning for the White Sox.
- 134 wins
- 118 wins
"Peavy: he was outstanding," manager Ozzie Guillen said after the White Sox hurler gave up just two runs, on six hits over seven innings, while fanning five Cubs and walking one. "I wish I could have gotten him another inning, but the lead we have, I have confidence in my bullpen. I think he did what he had to do."
"Jake is Jake, and he's been around long enough, and knows what it takes," said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who chipped in four hits, and three RBIs, to the winning performance. "We talked before the game about what we are going to do, and he executed it beautifully. I give him a lot of credit. It was his 100th win, and I'm happy for him to get that out of the way."
This seemingly lopsided affair was actually deadlocked at 2 after four innings. The White Sox (27-33) knocked out four straight hits off of Randy Wells (3-5), with two out and nobody on base in the first inning, to score their runs, while Alfonso Soriano's 300th career home run brought the Cubs (27-34) back even in the second.
A three-run fifth started a stretch of eight straight runs scored by the White Sox, putting the team in control for its fourth consecutive win over the Cubs, and a 38-35 edge in this hotly-contested Interleague series.
That rally also gave Peavy and four relievers enough room to coast home with the team's fourth win in five games.
"I had some history with a lot of guys, and knew what we needed to do," said Peavy, who exited after 99 pitches on the extremely humid afternoon. "I obviously made a bad pitch to Soriano.
"Bad pitch selection, bad pitch. I shook to that pitch, thinking I was going to throw something completely different. Other than that, it was pretty smooth. Obviously when your team scores 10 runs, you take your chances."
Alexei Ramirez started the fifth-inning rally with a single to left, and Alex Rios reached base on a four-pitch walk from Wells. Rios finished with four hits, raising his All-Star caliber average to .322, and reached base five times.
Paul Konerko, who had two of the White Sox season-high 16 hits, doubled home the go-ahead runs on a 1-2 pitch from Wells, and Pierzynski followed with a run-scoring double to center. Pierzynski, Rios, and pinch-hitter Carlos Quentin all went deep, with Rios' 13th homer being a two-run shot during a four-run eighth.
In just his second game playing in the Crosstown Series, now featuring a championship cup going to the winning side, Rios appreciated the enthusiasm from the 41,129 in attendance.
"It's pretty exciting," Rios said. "You have people cheering for the Cubs and the White Sox, and it's loud and fun."
"Every time you play this ballclub, and you play here, you take it to the next level," Guillen said. "I was very surprised, very pleased, very proud of the Chicago fans. A lot of people were talking about no one was going to come here and watch this game, and this game don't mean anything -- this game was sold out. That's how many baseball fans are out there. When you win, everything is good."
Friday's series opener had a little luster missing, due to the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victory parade taking place in downtown Chicago. Nobody was begrudging the talented and exciting team their well-deserved glory, and the White Sox went out and played like a team with similar championship aspirations on their mind.
Of course, this victory over the Cubs simply marked the White Sox second three-game winning streak this season, and moved them a little closer to .500. They also have eight games to make up on the first-place Twins in the American League Central.
"After the tough series with Texas and Cleveland, you know we came back and won that last game [against Cleveland] when we were down, and then won a series. And now we have a chance to come out with a win in the next two games and win the series," Peavy said. "We've got to make these next couple of weeks count, or things are probably going to go the other way."
Getting Peavy started quickly on his next 100 career wins certainly will help the White Sox move in an upward direction within the division.
"He's going to be fine," Pierzynski said of Peavy, whose ERA dropped to 5.62 after posting the White Sox fourth straight quality start. "He's been getting better and trending up."
"Give a lot of credit to Peavy. He pitched a very good game," Soriano said. "Sometimes you have to give credit to the pitcher."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.