There's no rule that says you have to get along with your neighbor and the same standard should apply in sports.
Competing for bragging rights in the city of Chicago usually brings out the best of both the White Sox and Cubs, and the rivalry will continue tonight with the first of three straight matchups on the South Side.
The White Sox swept the Cubs in three games a month ago at Wrigley Field from May 18-20 thanks to a 16-6 advantage in runs, and have won seven of eight and 14 of the last 18 matchups between the two clubs. The Pale Hose lead the all- time series, 48-39, including a 25-17 edge as the host.
The current American League Central-division leaders just went 2-4 on a six- game road trip through St. Louis and Los Angeles, closing out the journey with Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Dodgers in 10 innings. Dee Gordon singled home Tony Gwynn Jr. for the game-winning run off Chicago reliever Matt Thornton, who allowed a one-out triple to Gwynn.
Los Angeles tied the game at 1-1 when Bobby Abreu scored on Juan Rivera's sacrifice fly in the home half of the ninth. Addison Reed blew the save, while White Sox starter Jose Quintana was brilliant over eight scoreless innings, striking out six batters and scattering five hits in the no-decision.
"Anytime you lose a game, it [stinks], but especially when the starting pitcher throws as well as [Quintana] did," Reed said on the club's website. "I made a couple bad pitches and they hit them and it didn't work out."
Dayan Viciedo plated Brent Lillibridge with two outs in the sixth to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Viciedo finished with a pair of hits for Chicago, which is 1 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland for the AL Central lead. The White Sox are starting a six-game, seven-day homestand this evening versus the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. They went 4-5 on their last homestand.
Taking the mound for the hosts at U.S. Cellular Field Monday will be Zach Stewart. Stewart is making his first of the season and taking the place of injured starter John Danks (shoulder). Stewart has made 17 relief appearances this season and is 1-1 with a 5.18 earned run average. He made 11 starts a year ago for both the White Sox and Blue Jays, and went 2-6 with a 6.00 ERA through 13 overall trips to the mound.
Stewart faced the Cubs in relief on May 19 and allowed two-run homers to Alfonso Soriano and Joe Mather in the 7-4 triumph.
White Sox slugger Adam Dunn has homered five times in his last eight games and needs 12 homers for 400 in his career.
The Cubs are struggling this month (4-12) and will hit the road for six games against the White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks. They lost two of three games to the Boston Red Sox over the weekend in the north side of Chicago, and dropped a 7-4 decision on Sunday.
Starlin Castro broke out of a personal funk by going 3-for-4 with two RBI and entered the contest batting only .206 with 17 strikeouts in 15 games this month. Paul Maholm started for the hosts and did not figure into the decision, as he gave up three runs over six innings. Shawn Camp absorbed the loss and was charged with two runs on two hits.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum tried to pinpoint his club's struggles.
"Coming into the season, I thought that one of our strong points would be when left-handed pitchers faced our team," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's not that they're doing horrible, we're just not getting the slugging percentage at all against left-handed pitching, which is holding us back from scoring multiple runs in an inning."
The Cubs may get a boost in the hitting department with the pending return of catcher Geovany Soto. Soto is expected to come off the disabled list today and has not played since May 17 after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus. He went 3-for-16 in five rehab games in the minors. Meanwhile, slugging outfielder Alfonso Soriano will most likely be the DH for the Cubs during the series with the White Sox.
Cubs starter Matt Garza hasn't won since April 29 at Philadelphia and is 0-4 with a 5.26 ERA in his last seven starts -- all Chicago losses. Garza last pitched in Wednesday's 8-4 loss to Detroit in which he gave up five runs -- three earned -- in six innings to fall to 2-5 in 12 starts with a 4.04 ERA.
Garza, a right-hander, is just 1-4 in seven starts on the road and has faced the White Sox six times in his career, going 1-3 with a 4.73 ERA.