for this game

Zambrano dominant as Cubs edge White Sox

Jun 23, 2007 - 12:34 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- This time around, Carlos Zambrano got some support.

Zambrano was fantastic once again, tossing eight sharp innings for the Chicago Cubs, who used two first-inning homers en route to a 5-1 victory over the rival Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday afternoon.

Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez provided the early offense for the Cubs, who continued their success against their cross-town rivals. They took two of three contests from the White Sox at Wrigley Field from May 18-20.

"We just won the game, and that's what we need," Ramirez said. "We start to win series and forget about (division-leading) Milwaukee."

Zambrano (8-6) made it stand up with his second straight outstanding start. The hard-throwing righthander pitched 7 1/3 no-hit innings last Saturday against the San Diego Padres.

After losing his bid at history, Zambrano gave up a solo homer to Russell Branyan in the ninth in an excruciating 1-0 loss.

"The difference today is that my splitter was working better than last time," Zambrano said. "Other than that, it wasn't much better. My money pitch was the sinker. Every time that pitch is working for me, I know we're going to have a good game."

Zambrano has won his last five road starts and has improved upon a poor history at U.S. Cellular Field where he held an inflated 6.16 ERA in three previous outings heading into the contest.

On Friday, Zambrano was nearly unhittable, allowing just three hits and one walk while tying a career high with 12 strikeouts. The righthander attacked the White Sox's hitters with his moving fastball, keeping their struggling lineup off-balance all day.

"(He) was nasty. He had really good movement on his fastball," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "His split-finger (fastball), some of them actually fell off the table. Really, really good stuff."

"When you have the ball in your hand, and you know that it will go where you want to throw it, it's great," Zambrano said. "That's how I was feeling today."

Piniella also praised the big righthander for turning his season around.

"What a difference. His last four or five starts have gotten better and better," the manager said. "He's picked up velocity, picked up command on his pitches and stamina."

However, he had some trouble in the seventh, allowing a one-out solo homer to Paul Konerko to make it 2-1. A.J. Pierzynski followed with a hard single to right, but Zambrano wiggled out of the jam after Jermaine Dye grounded into an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Dempster hurled a perfect ninth in a non-save situation.

Soriano led off the game with a towering blast to left off White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (4-4). After Mike Fontenot flied out and Derrek Lee struck out, Ramirez smacked his 14th blast of the season - a line shot to the opposite field.

"We got two runs in the first inning, and we see the way Zambrano pitched today," Soriano said. "We wanted to win for him."

"I've been swinging the bat, taking a lot of BP," said Ramirez, who was playing his first game since coming off the disabled list. "When the guys usually go out to the field, I go to the cage. I want to stay in shape. I want to jump right in and don't miss any more time."

The Cubs added some insurance in the ninth. Fontenot led off the inning with a single and Lee followed with a walk, setting up Ramirez's RBI single. They then took control after rookie Felix Pie added a two-run single to make it 5-1. Buehrle pitched well himself, allowing just two runs and four hits in seven frames while striking out four without walking a batter.

But it was another offensive struggle for the White Sox, who are last in the majors in team batting average and runs.

"(Zambrano) was tough," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "The last two outings he was throwing the ball better than the beginning of the season. He got the White Sox at the right time. We're not hitting the ball well. You're not going to win too many games with three hits."








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 7 0
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, RYAN DEMPSTER (9TH) AND ROB BOWEN
    CHA - MARK BUEHRLE, BOONE LOGAN (8TH), NICK MASSET
    (8TH), RYAN BUKVICH (9TH), MATT THORNTON (9TH) AND A.J.

    Jun 22 6:40 PM


  • ML
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FELIX PIE SCORED JACQUE JONES AND ROB BOWEN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, F PIE ON SECOND, A PAGAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 5
    CHI WHITE SOX 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C IZTURIS (.246, 0-FOR-3)

    Cubs vs. White SoxJun 22 6:38 PM


  • ML
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ARAMIS RAMIREZ SCORED MIKE FONTENOT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RAMIREZ ON FIRST, D LEE ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    CHI WHITE SOX 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.267, 0-FOR-3)

    Cubs vs. White SoxJun 22 6:17 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs vs. White SoxJun 22 6:17 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs vs. White SoxJun 22 6:10 PM


  • ML
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY PAUL KONERKO (12) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF CARLOS ZAMBRANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2, CHI WHITE SOX 1
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: A PIERZYNSKI (.251, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. White SoxJun 22 5:51 PM


  • ML
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 2 2 0
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO
    CHA - MARK BUEHRLE

    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: D ERSTAD (.264, 2 HR, 21 RBI)
    T IGUCHI (.253, 3 HR, 17 RBI)
    J THOME (.289, 9 HR, 27 R

    Cubs vs. White SoxJun 22 4:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mark Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. White SoxJun 22 1:50 PM
  • mark i'm putting the over/under on total manager ejections at 2.5. taking bets...

    Cubs vs. White SoxJun 22 3:13 AM