Chicago, IL – One of the two teams from the Windy City sure took advantage of the town's moniker on Monday night.
The Chicago Cubs belted five home runs on a blustery South Side night, blasting the crosstown White Sox, 12-3, in the first game of a three-game set.
Bryan LaHair's home run started the festivities, while Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto and Luis Valbuena also homered for the Cubs, who snapped a two-game losing streak. LaHair and Soriano each hit their 13th home run of the season, while Soto's came on the day he was activated from the 15-day disabled list.
"No doubt our best offensive production of the year," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Throughout the lineup everyone had a good day."
Matt Garza (3-5) surrendered three runs on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk over six innings. He held the White Sox scoreless through four frames before becoming susceptible to the long ball on a night that saw steady 20- to-25 mph winds at U.S. Cellular Field.
Garza will now have to anchor a rotation without Ryan Dempster, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with right lat tightness. Dempster only has a 3-3 record this season, but he has been dominant at times with a 2.11 earned run average in 12 starts, while currently holding a 22-inning scoreless streak.
A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko hit home runs for the White Sox, who have lost five of six. Zach Stewart (1-2) was hit hard to the tune of six runs on nine hits with one strikeout over 5 2/3 frames in defeat.
"We just got beat. We'll rally and come back [Tuesday]," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
In the third, Castro found room between second and first for a two-out single in front of LaHair, who crushed a 1-2 slider over the wall in right-center field.
The Cubs added three more runs in the fifth to pile on to their lead. Tony Campana singled, stole second and moved to third on David DeJesus' groundout before Castro went down and drove a pitch just over the wall in left-center field for a two-run homer. Soriano quickly followed with a long blast way over the center-field fence to give the Cubs a five-run lead.
The White Sox finally got on the scoreboard with Pierzynski's solo shot in the home half, but the Cubs continued the game of long ball with Soto's two-out solo home run in the sixth for a 6-1 game. The crosstown rival got two runs back with Konerko's wind-aided two-run home run that just cleared the center- field fence to pull the White Sox within 6-3 in the home half of the frame.
The rally was for naught after the Cubs put up a crooked number in the seventh. DeJesus was plunked by a pitch and Castro singled to put two runners on, and Soriano drove home one of the runners with a base hit to center. Steve Clevenger's single then plated Castro and a wild pitch moved him and Soriano to second and third base, respectively. Another single off the bat of Darwin Barney plated Soriano and Valbuena capped the six-run frame with a three-run home run to right.
Valbuena's home run was his second in five games since being called up from Triple-A Iowa...Soriano now has 43 runs batted in on the season...The Cubs pounded out 15 hits...Pierzynski's home run was his 12th of the season, while Konerko hit his 13th...Garza picked up his first win since April 29...The White Sox swept the first meeting between the two teams in May at Wrigley Field...Soriano's fifth-inning blast traveled 440 feet.