Garza’s strong outing leads Cubs to 8-2 win, sweep over White Sox
BY TONI GINNETTI email@example.com July 8, 2013 11:37PM
Updated: July 9, 2013 12:15AM
Cubs fans wielded their brooms Monday as their team completed the first four-game sweep of the rival White Sox with an 8-2 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.
The victory in the make-up game of the rained out May 28 contest marked the first time since 1999 when the crosstown series became a home-and-home format that either club has swept.
It also was the fourth straight loss overall for the Sox.
``We were in a position to sweep the series. We were home and they were coming off a tough road trip—but with that many people in the stands [31,552] you definitely get the [rivalry] feeling,’’ Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
The Cubs won the first three games for the series win, the first time they had a winning series against the Sox since going 5-1 in 2007.
As significant was the performance of Cubs starter Matt Garza (5-1), who dominated for a fifth straight outing as nearly a dozen major league scouts watched.
Garza worked seven innings and held the Sox to two runs, only one earned, on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
The righthander admitted the trade rumors ``are in the back of your mind,’’ but he said reports of him signing an extension with the Cubs weren’t out of the question.
``It’s always on the table. I voiced my opinion that I love it here and my family loves it here. I don’t know what route they’re going to go.’’
Garza is a free agent after this season but has no veto rights over a trade.
``I’d say it’s 50-50,’’ he said of odds of signing an extension. ``I like being a Cub. I’d like to help this team win. I’ve always said it would be a hell of a party.’’
The Cubs had 13 hits against Sox pitching, with a breakout inning in the eighth against Matt Thornton (0-3) and Nate Jones.
Thornton is the Sox player who is considered a likely trade target, but he retired only one batter in the eighth when the Cubs scored five runs.
``The eighth was a back breaker,’’ Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
The teams played evenly through seven innings tied at 2-2. Veteran Alfonso Soriano was one of the Cubs starts with a homer, double, single and two stolen bases.
Cubs right fielder Dave Sappelt went 4-for-5 in a career-best night.
Rookie catcher Josh Phegley was the star for the Sox with a homer off Garza and pickoff throw to first nabbing Julio Borbon as Starlin Castro struck out.
Phegley is the first Sox rookie to homer the quickest in back-to-back games since Magglio Ordonez in 1993. He homered Sunday in Tampa in his second game.
He is the first Sox rookie to have an RBI in each of his first three games.
``He’s not going anywhere. He’s up here to play and he and [Tyler Flowers] are going to both be playing.
``He’s good to have. He’s one of those guys who is born to be a catcher, I guess.’’
The Sox scored their other run in the sixth on a rare steal of home by Gordon Beckham as Alex Rios stole second. Beckham had reached on an equally rare throwing error by Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney, the Gold Glover who committed his first error of the season a day earlier.
The Sox last successfully stole home when Juan Pierre did it on Oct. 2, 2010 against Cleveland.
Sox starter Hector Santiago worked into the sixth, giving up one run on four hits until Soriano homered to start the sixth. Santiago hit Luis Valbuena with one out, and was lifted for Matt Lindstrom. He worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Thornton entered.
Thornton retired Anthony Rizzo on a pop up but then walked Soriano and gave up a single to Dioner Navarro.
Valbuena’s double tallied both, ending Thornton’s outing. The Cubs went on to score fie in the inning, including two off Jones.
The Cubs added another run in the ninth off Addison Reed.
Ventura said losing to series to the Cubs was ``a big deal,’’ but added ``it’s at that point where you want to win against anybody. Coming back here and losing this one, you don’t like losing to anybody. But again, we’ve got to right the ship.’’