CHICAGO (AP) -- After nine weeks on the disabled list, Mark
Grudzielanek savors the chance to play in any game, especially the
spiced-up atmosphere of Cubs-White Sox.
Throw in a glaring sun, a tricky wind and a noisy crowd that
turned fly balls into an adventure and Friday's interleague opener,
won by the Cubs 7-4, had yet another twist.
"It was a situation, too, where the fans -- there was some
electricity going on out there -- you couldn't really hear each
other to call each other off," said Grudzielanek, who hit a
"The wind was blowing like crazy and the sun definitely made it
more difficult. You saw that on both sides. It was tough to
Grudzielanek, wearing a boot on his sore Achilles' tendon after
the game, picked a good time for his first homer and RBI of the
A sellout crowd of 39,596 watched his three-run shot give the
Cubs the lead and Mark Prior the victory at U.S. Cellular Field,
where the Sox made three errors.
"It was a football atmosphere, really," said the Cubs' Todd
Hollandsworth, who got to be a DH in the AL park and had two hits,
including an RBI triple.
"The crowd was into every pitch. You wish you could do it every
"For the most part today it was kind of a non-energy game, kind
of ho-hum," Konerko said.
"It got a little interesting at the end, just a little bit too
late. They just kind of outplayed us in every aspect. They were
good, we weren't too good."
Ramon Martinez added a solo shot in the ninth for the Cubs to
make it 7-4.
Struggling with his pitch count, Prior (2-1) allowed two hits
and a run in five innings, walking three and fanning six. He
departed after throwing 99 pitches.
Aggressive and a bit wild, Prior got the crowd buzzing early by
busting high-and-tight fastballs inside to Aaron Rowand and Frank
Thomas. He also pitched out of an early jam.
In the fourth, Lee walked again, stole second, moved up on
Konerko's infield single to short and scored on a wild pitch by
Prior that sailed high off the tip of Michael Barrett's glove.
But the 1-0 lead didn't last long. Jon Garland (5-5) was roughed
up in the next two innings, with his error starting the Cubs on
Garland, a first-round draft choice of the Cubs in 1997, gave up
a leadoff single to Hollandsworth in the fifth and then threw
wildly on a pickoff attempt, allowing him to race to third. Barrett
followed with an RBI grounder to tie it.
"I gave up six runs and that's pretty much horrible," Garland
After Martinez walked, Grudzielanek -- who will share playing
time with Todd Walker -- hit his first homer.
"It might be a couple of days here and there. We'll have to
wait and see," Grudzielanek said. "Walker's swinging the bat and
he's playing very well."
Sammy Sosa singled and scored on Hollandsworth's triple in the
sixth, and the Cubs made it 6-1 on Barrett's hard single past
Konerko's 18th homer followed walks to Uribe and Thomas. And
after pinch-hitter Jamie Burke doubled off Sosa's glove, LaTroy
Hawkins struck out Joe Crede. Hawkins also pitched the ninth for
his 10th save in 13 chances.
Mayor Richard M. Daley, a lifelong Sox fan, showed up before the
game in the Cubs' dugout. He was wearing a Sox hat and chatted with
Dusty Baker, who said earlier he wanted to meet the man who runs
"I'm a Sox fan, but I like the Cubs," Daley said, sounding
like the politician he is. "When they are playing other teams I
root for them. But I'm a Sox fan, I can't give that up."
Rookie White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen played in the first
interleague series between the two teams in 1997, but got his first
taste of the frenzied atmosphere from the dugout steps.
Sosa of the Cubs and Ross Gload of the White Sox are among
159 players who have appeared in at least one major league game for
both teams. The list also includes current Cubs broadcasters Steve
Stone and Ron Santo and Sox commentator Darrin Jackson. ... The
White Sox lead the series 20-17. ... Cubs RHP Kerry Wood,
recovering from a sore triceps, threw 15 pitches in the bullpen
Friday and could pitch a simulated game Sunday or Monday.