CHICAGO (AP)—Alfonso Soriano took his game 8 miles to the other side of town and powered the Cubs to a three-game sweep of the punchless White Sox, using both his lively bat and his strong arm.
Soriano threw out a runner at the plate and also homered for the third straight game Sunday as the Cubs blanked the White Sox 3-0.
“I think (it’s) the weather and I feel more comfortable with the team and the city here in Chicago, so I got my swing back and that’s most important,” said Soriano, who got off to a slow start in his first season with the Cubs.
“What you’re seeing here now is the player that he is,” manager Lou Piniella said of the Cubs’ $136 million leadoff man. “He’s swinging the bat and he’s driving the ball. He’s a catalyst out of that leadoff hole as we anticipated.”
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected in the eighth inning after a bizarre play on the bases. The White Sox appeared to turn a double play after a Cubs baserunning blunder, but the umpires conferred and ruled interference on White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe. They put all the runners back, loading the bases, and after a long argument with a relatively calm Guillen, Koyie Hill hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
“I think they got it right,” Guillen said. “One thing, we didn’t lose the game because of that. … This weekend they played better than we did, they made the plays, they pitched right, they had clutch hitting and we didn’t. … If those guys keep playing the way they did against us this weekend, they have a chance.”
Crew chief Joe West said Guillen acted like a gentleman and did not use profanity, but asked to be thrown out of the game.
“You can’t blame him. It was a messed-up play that you don’t see very often. Uribe is not known for trying to cheat or get in somebody’s way, but it happens,” West said. “He got two outs and he ended up getting no outs and that’s why Ozzie said, `You’re just going to have to run me.”’
Cubs lefty Sean Marshall (4-2) allowed five hits in 6 1-3 scoreless innings against the White Sox, who managed two runs in the three-game set and have lost 22 of their last 27.
Bob Howry got three outs for his second save.
The Cubs won five of six meetings this season with the White Sox, the most by either team since their interleague series expanded to six games in 1999.
Luis Terrero twice tested Soriano’s arm in the fifth inning and the second time—at the plate—he lost. Terrero went from first to third on a single by Uribe, beating Soriano’s throw.
But when Scott Podsednik hit a fly to medium left, Terrero took off for the plate and Soriano made a strong throw to Hill, who applied the tag to complete the double play and keep the White Sox scoreless.
The Cubs then scored in the next inning off Jose Contreras (5-8) as Aramis Ramirez doubled, Cliff Floyd sent him to third with a single and Angel Pagan, who scored the winning run on a ninth-inning squeeze bunt in a 2-1 victory Saturday, hit an RBI grounder.
Soriano homered in the seventh. Contreras allowed 10 hits and two runs in seven innings.
The Cubs had first and second and none out in the eighth after a walk by Felix Pie and a single by Pagan. When Mark DeRosa hit a ball over Rob Mackowiak’s head in right, Pie stopped at third and that left Pagan caught between second and third as DeRosa headed to second.
The White Sox appeared to turn a double play as they threw to second, where Uribe tagged out Pagan and then threw home. Pie was tagged out at the plate in a rundown. But after the umpires conferred for about five minutes, they ruled all three runners safe because Uribe initially interfered with Pagan as he attempted to go from first to third.
After Guillen was tossed, acting manager Joey Cora came out to protest the game, but it wasn’t allowed.
“We didn’t let him. You have to protest a rule interpretation,” West said. “In Joey’s behalf, he had no idea, he was told to protest the game. So he went out there with a pocketknife to a gunfight.”
The White Sox also threatened in the third when Uribe and Podsednik singled. With two outs and runners at first and third, Jim Thome hit a hard grounder to first. Derrek Lee knocked the ball down and then scrambled behind the bag to recover it, flipping to Marshall covering just in time to beat a hard-sliding Thome.
Soriano hit leadoff homers Friday and Saturday. … The White Sox hired Doug Laumann as director of amateur scouting. He replaces Duane Shaffer, who was fired Friday in his 35th season with the club. … The Cubs and White Sox have split 60 interleague games.