After watching one Chicago team celebrate the winning of a legendary cup, the White Sox hope they can attain a far less famous one.
Coming off an impressive victory in the opener of the crosstown classic, the White Sox look to win four straight games for the first time this season and take another step toward winning the inaugural BP Crosstown Cup on Saturday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Usually one of the biggest events in Chicago, the Cubs-Sox series was overshadowed Friday by the city’s parade to honor the Blackhawks, who won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years Wednesday. Shortly after an estimated 2 million people converged downtown for the victory rally, the city’s attention turned to the North Side, where the White Sox defeated the Cubs 10-5.
Alex Rios(notes) and A.J. Pierzynski(notes) each had four hits and homered to help the White Sox (27-33) win three in a row for the first time since April 23-25. The White Sox have plated 10 runs or more twice in the last three games after reaching double digits just once in their first 57.
Pierzynski is batting a career-low .237, but his stellar performance against the Cubs (27-34) shouldn’t come as a surprise. The catcher is 10 for 19 with six RBIs in his last four games against the North Siders - all White Sox wins.
“It’s a fun series to play in,” said Pierzynski, who has 16 RBIs in 12 games at Wrigley since 2006. “We got to try and get a cup like the Blackhawks.”
This is the first year of the BP Crosstown Cup, which will be awarded to the season series winner or the team that takes the final game if they split the six meetings.
The Cubs have won Silva’s last 10 starts with the right-hander getting a victory in the last six. He is the first Cubs starter to go 8-0 since Ken Holtzman was 9-0 in 1967, and the first pitcher to start his career with the Cubs 8-0 since King Cole in 1910.
It’s an astonishing turnaround for Silva, who already has three more wins than he had in the past two seasons combined with Seattle.
“He’s been our best pitcher, let’s be perfectly clear about that,” manager Lou Piniella said after Silva allowed one run and four hits in seven innings of Monday’s 6-1 victory over Pittsburgh.
Buehrle (3-6, 5.40) has been tagged for six runs in each of his last two starts, and has yielded at least five runs in six of his 12 outings. In Sunday’s 8-7 win over Cleveland, the left-hander labored through three innings, allowing eight hits and three walks while throwing 95 pitches.
“There really hasn’t been much working for me the last two starts,” Buehrle said.
Although it’s been a struggle for Buehrle, the four-time All-Star has had no problems lately in interleague play.
Buehrle is 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA in four starts against the Cubs since 2007, while Silva is 0-4 with a 4.97 ERA in five starts against the White Sox since beating them Oct. 1, 2006, while with Minnesota.