Chicago, IL – Jeff Samardzija allowed just four base runners en route to his first career shutout, as the Chicago Cubs blanked their crosstown rivals, the Chicago White Sox, 7-0, at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I had some good location early in the count and got some quick outs," said Samardzija. "I just kept them off balance."
Conor Gillaspie's third-inning single was the only hit the White Sox could muster off Samardzija (3-6) until the ninth inning, when Alexei Ramirez lined a single to right-center. The Cubs ace struck out eight and walked two while leading the visitors to their second straight win after dropping six in a row.
"When you throw a two-hit shutout, that kind of stuff, 97 mph from his first pitch to the end, you're not going to see that too often in the big leagues," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum.
Alfonso Soriano went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs, while Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each had two hits and scored twice. Julio Borbon also homered for the first time since 2010 when he was a member of the Texas Rangers.
Jose Quintana (3-2) took the loss after allowing four runs on four hits over six frames.
Soriano put the Cubs on the board when he delivered an RBI single in the first inning, plating Castro, who had walked and stole second.
Quintana settled down, retiring 11 of the next 12 batters, before Ryan Sweeney walked in front of Borbon's two-run homer.
The Cubs tacked on another run in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
Rizzo led off the sixth with a double to deep center field. Soriano then flied out, which allowed Rizzo to advance to third and score on Scott Hairston's sac fly.
With one away in the seventh, Borbon and Castro singled to put runners on first and third for Rizzo, whose triple cleared the bases. Soriano capped the scoring when he plated Rizzo with a single up the middle.
Samardzija walked Tyler Flowers before allowing Ramirez's two-out single in the ninth, putting two men on for the first time all game. Alex Rios, though, popped out to second for the game's final out.
"You can't win if you're going to play like that," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "I don't know if Samardzija made us flat or if we were just flat, but it was definitely not what we've been playing like."
The top four hitters in the Cubs' lineup had nine hits while the bottom five in the order went 0-for-17 ... Prior to the game, Chicago placed pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day disabled list with a muscular strain on his right forearm and claimed pitcher Alex Burnett off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles ... The teams head to Wrigley Field on Wednesday for another two-game set.