Coaching Comes Up Big in Holding Off Cubs

(SN Report #535) - There were two coaching decisions the Cubs would like to have back, both of which the White Sox were glad to see happen on Saturday as the Sox won the second game of the crosstown series, 7-6.

The first came in the Cubs half of the seventh inning, when Wendell Kim waved Damian Miller -- who reached on a single -- home on a double by Ramon Martinez. The relay from Carlos Lee, Jose Valentin and Josh Paul had Miller out at home by about 10 feet.

That play turned out to be key as the Cubs, down 7-3 heading into the inning, scored two more runs on a double by Mark Grudzielanek and single by Corey Patterson. The Cubs were down 7-0 after the Sox' half of the fourth.

The other decision came in the ninth inning, down 7-6 with a man on first and one out. Tom Goodwin, who pinch-ran for Sammy Sosa after Sosa's RBI-single, tried to steal second.

Fortunately for the White Sox, bench coach Joe Nossek saw it coming and called for a pitch-out, giving Paul plenty of time to make the throw. Moises Alou then walked, bringing up Eric Karros, who flied out to end the game.

Billy Koch was on the mound in the ninth, giving up a run while earning his 10th save.

The White Sox struck first with seven runs through the first four innings, all off Cubs' starter Matt Clement, giving a nice lead to Mark Buehrle, who helped himself with a RBI.

Buehrle's RBI came on a second-inning single, scoring Joe Crede (double) and moving up Paul (walk) to second. Willie Harris then singled in Paul for one of two RBIs in the game, putting the Sox up, 2-0.

Clement was hit for four more runs in the third inning, giving the Sox' the 6-0 lead. RBI-doubles by Brian Daubach and Crede, and RBI-singles by Paul and Harris scored the runs.

Crede came through again in the fourth, chasing Clement from the game with a RBI-single.

After that, the Sox' offense, like Friday, was silenced by the bullpen of the Cubs, going hit-less and scoreless the rest of the way.

The Cubs started their comeback on Buehrle in the fourth inning with a two-run homer by Alou and run-scoring double by Miller.

Tom Gordon relieved Buehrle with a man on and one out in the seventh. Gordon allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings. Buehrle gave up four runs, struck out two and walked two, while throwing 93 pitches.

Crede went 3-5 in the game, driving in two runs, while Harris and Ordonez had two hits each. Lee and D'Angelo Jimenez went a combined 0-8 with three strikeouts.

The Sox will try for the sweep on Sunday, with Bartolo Colon going up against Carlos Zambrano. Gametime will be at 1:20 p.m. CT and it will be televised on WGN.

Sox Hardball Top Stories