Cubs visit White Sox hoping for another pitching gem

The Chicago Cubs got the best of the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox in the opener of their set at U.S. Cellular Field and will take on the south-side foe once again Tuesday night.

Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija was on point in Monday's 7-0 win and delivered a two-hit shutout. He struck out eight batters and issued two walks for his first-career shutout.

"I had some good location early in the count and got some quick outs," said Samardzija. "I just kept them off balance."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum was impressed with his right-hander.

"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," Sveum said afterward.

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, helping the North Siders to their second straight win after a five- game losing streak.

The Cubs are aiming for their third three-game win streak of the season and will welcome the White Sox to Wrigley Field Wednesday and Thursday.

In other team news, Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained right forearm for the second time this season. He was on the DL from April 13-May 10 with the same problem and is expected to have an MRI on Tuesday.

Fujikawa is 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 games this season.

"We're cautiously optimistic that it's going to be the same thing he had before," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer told the club's website Monday. "We'll find out more tomorrow."

Edwin Jackson goes against another former team for the Cubs Tuesday and pitched with the White Sox from 2010-2011. Jackson is having a rough season at 1-7 with a 6.11 earned run average in 10 starts and has dropped consecutive appearances since his lone win on May 11 at Washington.

The right-hander lasted a season-low three innings in last Thursday's 4-2 setback at Pittsburgh and was reached for all four runs and six hits with six strikeouts and one walk. The one walk matched a season low.

Jackson, who is 1-3 in five road assignments, has made eight career starts against the White Sox, going 1-4 with a 6.60 ERA in 46 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, the White Sox had won three in a row and nine of 12 games until Samardzija stole the show last night.

Alexei Ramirez and Conor Gillaspie provided the hits for the White Sox, while starter Jose Quintana was saddled with the loss for allowing four runs and four hits in six innings.

"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."

Nate Jones allowed three runs in relief.

White Sox ace Chris Sale will make his first career start against the rival Cubs when he takes the mound Tuesday night. Sale has thrown two scoreless innings of relief against the Cubs, allowing three hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

Sale is 4-0 with a 1.18 earned run average in his last five starts -- all White Sox wins -- and has thrown 23 straight scoreless innings. He tossed a one-hit shutout May 12 versus the LA Angels, then fanned 12 batters through 7 2/3 scoreless frames of a second-straight 3-0 win his last time out on May 17.

"Any time you can get a win two starts in a row and the team wins two starts in a row, it's always nice being able to find the rhythm," Sale said. "It's just a matter of how long you can stay in that rhythm and get in that groove and stretch it out as long as it possibly can."

Sale's rhythm was interrupted after his most recent start was skipped due to a case of mild tendinitis in the back of his pitching shoulder.

The left-hander, who owns a 3-0 mark in four home starts, is 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA in nine starts this season and has lasted at least seven innings in six straight and eight of nine outings.

The White Sox have won four of six in each of the four previous seasons against the Cubs.