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Cubs 3, White Sox 1: Rodrig0000000

A.J. Pierzynski triumphs over his counterpart on a play at the plate.
A.J. Pierzynski triumphs over his counterpart on a play at the plate.

The Sox have had luck waiting until the sixth inning to get the offense going. But allowing Rodrigo Lopez to throw seven shutout innings? Well that's just getting a little too cute.

Gavin Floyd pitched well, but one crooked number fell him once again. The only fearsome hitters in the Cubs lineup were the only ones that did the damage, as Starlin Castro delivered an RBI triple and Aramis Ramirez hit a homer into the bleachers for the only three runs the Cubs scored. Castro took advantage of a hanging curve, but the pitch to Ramirez was a good one. Somehow, Ramirez lunged at a low-and-away cutter and got enough backspin on it to cut through wind that hung up an Alexei Ramirez homer-to-be earlier in the game.

Otherwise, Floyd was fine. He struck out eight over seven innings, which equaled the amount of baserunners he allowed.

The White Sox offense, on the other hand, was decidedly not fine. Lopez had allowed 27 hits over 18 1/3 innings this season - he held the Sox to two over seven.

They only threatened him once, and it didn't even trigger the lowest possible alert level. Mark Teahen reached on an infield single, followed by a Gordon Beckham HBP. But that brought Gavin Floyd to the plate. He bunted foul into a strikeout, and Lopez cleaned up the mess by getting Juan Pierre to line out softly to him, starting a 1-3 double play.

Otherwise, it was all quiet - so quiet that Lopez needed only 75 pitches through seven innings.

Mike Quade lifted Lopez for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the seventh, and only then did the offense come alive. Kinda.

Once again, Mark Teahen and Gordon Beckham started a possible stew with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners with one out. Ozzie Guillen brought Paul Konerko off the bench to hit for Floyd, and Wood pitched him very carefully. The only fastballs he got were off the black on both sides, and Konerko swung through one and fouled a couple more off.

He kept the at-bat alive long enough for Wood to spike a curveball, which allowed Teahen to score. Wood ended up walking Konerko, and Quade went matchups the rest of the inning. Sean Marshall retired Pierre on a weak pop-out to third, and Carlos Marmol retired Alexei Ramirez on three sliders, en route to a 1-2-3 ninth and the four-out save.

Really, the only true highlight came in the bottom of the third, when Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham teamed up on a relay to cut down Geovany Soto at the plate by a good 25-30 feet. It was the only time they were able to help themselves today.

Record: 42-43 | Box score | Play-by-play