In a makeup game from a rain out in late May, the Cubs completed a season sweep of the White Sox for the first time in 15 years on Monday night.
Garza Shines Bright
Matt Garza, surrounded by talks of contract negotiations and trade rumors, seemed poised and went a very solid seven innings in his fifth victory of the season. He kept opposing hitters off balance all evening while limiting the White Sox to only five hits, striking out seven, and walking none.
In fact, the only mistake Garza made all evening was in the bottom of the third inning when he gave up a solo shot to rookie catcher Josh Phegley.
Only once were the White Sox able to put multiple base runners on during this contest. That came in the bottom of the sixth, when it took a double steal by Rios and Beckham to push a run across. With two outs in the inning, Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro opted to throw down to second base in an attempt to catch Rios stealing for the final out. Rios slid in safe and Beckham skated to home plate uncontested, tying the game at two for the time being.
White Sox starter Hector Santiago wasn't spotless, but battled through a couple of rough spots in what ended up being a pretty solid outing. He went 5 1/3 innings while striking out three, and surrendered two runs. He did not factor into the decision.
The game came apart for the White Sox in the top half of the 8th inning, when the Cubs busted things wide open with a five spot. It took three White Sox relievers just to get through the inning, recording an out each.
Matt Thronton and Nate Jones would combine to give up five hits and five runs in their combined 0.2 innings of work. Ramon Troncoso would strike out the first hitter he saw to retire the side in this disastrous inning. Addison Reed surrendered another run in one inning of work in the ninth.
The White Sox had more than a couple of problems in their bullpen before all-star reliever Jesse Crain went down. As expected, things have only gotten worse since.
If you're looking for a bright spot, Josh Phegley continued to impress in his home debut with the White Sox. He hit his second home run of the season since being called up last week, driving in his fourth run.
He also dazzled the home crowd with his glove, snap throwing a strike down to first in the sixth inning to pick off Julio Borbon on a rare "strike em’ out, pick em’ off" double play, as Hawk Harrelson called it.
Gordon Beckham also had another hit tonight and scored a run. He continues to be a bright spot in an abysmal White Sox lineup since coming off of the DL a little over a month ago. His average is now at .338, and he's hitting just under .500 over the last week.
Welcome to Detroit
The loss drops the last place White Sox to 34-52, and 14 games back in the AL Central. The White Sox now travel to Detroit to take on Justin Verlander on Tuesday night to kick off a three game set with the Tigers.