The Chicago White Sox took the decider of their three-game series with cross-town rivals the Cubs, as pitchers John Danks and Scott Linebrink shone in the 6-0 win on Sunday in Interleague action. Danks struck out five and walked four over seven innings, while Linebrink struck out four in two perfect relief innings to give the Sox their second win over the Cubs after losing the series opener.
Danks also beat the Cubs 4-1 on June 17 and has allowed just one earned run in his 14 innings against them this season. "I didn't throw as many strikes this time around, but I feel like I was still able to make the big pitch when I had to and guys were making plays all over the field for me," Danks said. Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the third inning and that was all the runs the Sox would need, but Jermaine Dye also hit a solo homer for the winners.
Chris Getz stole home for another run in the sixth inning. The White Sox took two of three games during the week against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors, and then won two of three in this series. The manager Ozzie Guillen was not ready to talk up the team's prospects despite their run of good form, however. "I'm going to take it one day at a time and try to move on real sneaky and quiet and see where we are in September," Guillen said.
The Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano (4-3) struggled, allowing five runs, four of them earned, on nine hits over five and a third innings. "You have to give credit to the other pitcher, Danks," Zambrano said. "Sometimes the other pitcher comes with his best stuff, and there's nothing you can do about it." The Cubs manager Lou Piniella was frank about Zambrano's performance. "He was so-so," Piniella said.
The White Sox lead the all-time series 36-35, with the teams yet to play a rescheduled game, cancelled because of rain during their first series, later this season at Wrigley Field. Meanwhile in other MLB action, Mariano Rivera become the second reliever to reach the 500th save milestone as the New York Yankees completed a Subway Series sweep over the New York Mets with a 4-2 win. Chien-Ming Wang won for the first time in more than a year and Rivera got four outs and pitched a one-hit ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances this season to secure the Yankees' fifth consecutive victory.
The right-hander joins the Milwaukee Bucks' Trevor Hoffman, who has 571 saves, as the only Major League players with 500. Elsewhere, home runs by Chipper Jones and Garret Anderson carried the Atlanta Braves past the Boston Red Sox 2-1. Tommy Hanson (4-0) threw six scoreless innings despite also suffering from flu. He restricted Boston to two hits and extended his scoreless streak to 20 innings.
Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs in the ninth inning as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Houston Astros 4-3. Kaz Matsui's RBI double off Edwin Jackson had given Houston a 3-2 lead in the seventh. David Price bounced back from a pair of losses to allow one run over six and a third innings as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Florida Marlins 5-2 win. Price (2-2) gave up two hits, five walks and had four strikeouts.
BJ Upton homered for the Rays who have now won five successive games. The Kansas City Royals ended a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Brandon Phillips ended a 1-for-16 slump with three hits, three runs and three RBIs on his 28th birthday as the Cincinnati Reds thrashed the Cleveland Indians 8-1. Chase Utley hit a two-run triple as the Philadelphia Phillies held on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4, and Adam Dunn and Willie Harris both hit home runs as the Washington Nationals won 5-3 against the Baltimore Orioles.
Justin Morneau hit a three-run homer as the Minnesota Twins overcame the St Louis Cardinals 6-2, while Adrian Beltre singled home a run to help the Seattle Mariners to a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chris Iannetta, Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith each drove in a run for the Rockies as Colorado beat the Oakland Athletics 3-1. Juan Rivera, Jeff Mathis and Maicer Izturis all homered in the 12-8 victory for the Los Angeles Angels over the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Scott Hairston ended an 0-for-17 run with a homer for San Diego as the Padres had a 2-0 win over the Texas Rangers.
And finally, in the day's sole National League game Ryan Sadowski scattered four hits over six scoreless innings in his debut as the San Francisco Giants avoided a three-game sweep with a 7-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. * With agencies